Messer (Ust-Solicha), Russia
Messer was founded July 7, 1766 on the Bergseite or “hilly side” of the Volga, 52 miles southwest of Saratov, and named for its first headman, (Vorsteher), Johannes Messer. Its Russian name is Ust-Zolicha, since it is located on the Zolicha River. The first group of settlers in 1766 consisted of 25 families with a total of 85 people. This first group were from 12 different German locations; Kurpfalz, Zweibrücken, Brandenburg, Hannover, Württembert, Isenburg, Falkenstein, Frankenlicht, Goloisch, Hamburg, Odenwald, and Durlach. Eleven of these families had previously been German colonists in Denmark. Of the initial group, 63 were Lutheran, 19 Reformed, and 3 Catholic.
Many thanks to Michael Frank who provided many of these photos from the colony of Kamenka from his 2016 trip to the Volga area.
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