16 September 2017

On This Day, 16 September 1767

Dreispitz and Yagodnaya Polyana were the last two Volga Mother colonies, both Lutheran, founded on 16 September 1767.

The German name Dreispitz means "three points." The colony was named this because of the shape of its land between two streams.  It went by its Russian name Verkhnaya Dobrinka (Верхняя Добринк), which means upstream from Nizhnaya Dobrinka, or Dobrinka, the first colony founded downstream on 29 June 1764.

According to the first colony statistical report in 1769, Dreispitz had a population of 124 with 26 houses, 17 granaries and 13 stables.  The livestock included 65 horses, 22 oxen, 112 cows and calves and 19 swine.

The location of Dreispitz or Verkhnaya Dobrinka.
The location of Dreispitz on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet

(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)

The road to Dreispitz. Courtesy of Ina Weber via Panoramio. Uploaded 23 August 2007.

The location of Yagodnaya Polyana on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet

(Map of the German settlements in the Volga Region, 
AHSGR map #6)

Yagodnaya Polyana (Ягодная Поляна, translates to "berry field") is at the very northern part of historic Volga, at the edge of the Stumpp map. This was the original name of the colony, and today, it still goes by the same name.  It is also fondly referred to by descendants and other Volga researchers as Yagda, or just YP.

Below is the original survey for Yagodnaya Polyana from the "Plan for the General Survey of the Counties and Gubernias of the Russian Empire." According to the Yagodnaya Polyana website, the survey, in addition to the plat map below which outlines the exact boundaries of the colony, also included information about possessions and occupations of the colonists.  Note how much is still looks the same in the Google maps photo.

Original survey/plat map of Yagodnaya Polyana. Courtesy of Yagodnaya Polyana website.

Location of Yagodnava Polyana, Saratov, Russia.

2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg. They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.