Louis (Ostrogovka), Russia
Village Coordinator -
Brief History of Louis
Louis was founded on 14 June 1766 by LeRoy & Pictet as a Roman Catholic colony. The colony of Chasselois was destroyed in 1785 and many of its surviving inhabitants relocated to Louis.The colony of Louis was located in the district of the gubernia city of Saratov, which was 65 versts (1 verst = 3500 feet) distant, on the Uzensk Road, along the Bolshoy Karaman River.
The population (in 1798, the year of the first census) consisted of 52 families, counting 163 males and 151 females, for a total of 314 settlers. In this colony, there was only a prayer house, so they belonged to the parish of Mariental (Tonkoshurovka) where there was a church and a priest. Small children were taught reading, writing, and religion by a schoolmaster they chose from among their villagers. He taught them in his home, because there was no building for a school.
The colony was bounded on one side by land owned by the colony of Mariental, and on the other side by the former colony of Chaisol (Chasselois), and by uncultivated crown lands. Within these boundaries, the Kontora survey allocated them suitable plowing lands of 2,362 desyatina (about 2.7 acres per desyatina); and forest land of 87 desyatina. Prior to 1786, the Saratov Treasury Chamber gave them possession of the above-mentioned colony of Chaisol, because it had been destroyed by the Kirghiz-Kaissak, and most all of its inhabitants moved to Louis. This now included 1628 desyatina of tillable land, and 22 desyatina of forest. Together it totals 4099 desyatina.
Because of insufficient land for hay making, they shared with the colonies of Graf (Krutoyarovka), Schafer (Lipovka), Susly (Herzog), (Mariental ( Tonkoshurovka), Urbach (Lipov Kut, Reinhard (Osinovka), and Rohleder (Raskaty), the excess of a combined harvest.
From this land the inhabitants (in 1798) use 900 desyatina for grain growing, 30 for gardens, and 5 for roadway's. The remainder was unsuitable for grain growing because it was too sandy and saline. Therefore, there was not enough tillable land for the villagers.
The survey assigned almost no land for hay making. Other circumstances besides the above mentioned colonies, were, the taking away of hay land by the Saratov Treasury Chamber about 15 years ago, resulting in the tax payment of 126 (rubles?) per year by the colonists, thus, the assignment to the inhabitants of 200 desyatina was not enough to feed their stock. Also, the 109 desyatina of forests allocated them were in large part cut by the colonists of Reinwald (Staritsa). For their own use there was about 30 desyatina of oak forest left, which was restricted, In case of dire need, some cutting was done in the lands owned by the Crown, because there was not enough forest nearby.
It was recommended that the Saratov Treasury Chamber should allocate some Crown lands located above the Karaman River (which it was presently collecting taxes from the present owner, the town of Pokrovsk). The land had little growth and was still wild. There was suffucient land for plowing not only for the colony, but also much left over.
In addition, there were abundant meadows and forests. The present deficiencies would have been eliminated by the Kontoro Survey, awarding the land for liberal use, and not taxing the wilderness lands. These lands were somewhat distant, but the villagers assured the Kontora that there would be no complaints and they would be satisfied.
The colonists lived in moderate conditions, including the following four persons: Jako Berger; Matthias Kasper; Miss Elisabeth Marks (Marx); widow, Maria Jager. Of these, the first three would hire out to work for others. The last was being supported by the community. Buildings were poor and old. There were no stone or adobe houses, because there was no suitable stone in the colony or anywhere nearby. The buildings were "izbas" (huts) with granaries and stables. Behind the houses were gardens where all sorts of vegetables were grown. There were no orchards or apiaries. Close to the colony were two flour mills - one driven by water, the other by wind.
The plowed land was 4 verst from the colony, and was divided into three fields. This was done long ago. The tilling was done with plows, and no fertilizer was used. Wheat, for the most part, was usually planted, but no millet, because those harvests had always been poor. It was harvested and threshed exactly as in the other colonies. The community granary was very old, but constructed in a safe location. Here they would store rye, wheat, and oats, a chetvert (about 210 liters, or a quarter) per family. They owned sufficient livestock, which always multiplied, and also there were chickens.
They were industrious, diligent workers, the majority being farmers. There were three artisans: A blacksmith and two shoemakers. Their grain was sold mostly in Katharinenstadt, with some sold in Saratov.
Research Material Available
These are research documents that are currently availabel on the colony of Louis.
Links to the different items are provided were available.
For general questions on these items you may also contact the Village Coordinator: Kevin Rupp
First Settler List
1893 Family List
1892 - 1893