LASR.net Homepage




Menu

Volga-German House


category : Museums
Volga-German House Located on the grounds of the Ellis County Historical Museum is a replica of a Volga German house furnished with authentic household items used by the Volga German settlers.

The first homes built by our early settlers were constructed of sod. Typically the homes were 28 feet long and 16 feet wide. Sod walls were 6 feet high with two half-windows in each wall and one front door. The ground would be excavated to a depth of three feet, with the sod set aside to form the walls. Trees and saplings formed the rafters and support for the roof. The interior of the house contained two rooms: a small anti-room containing the "mud stove" and the cooking utensils, and a large room which served as the living, dining, and sleeping area. The walls were plastered with clay and whitewashed with Lebaster, a type of plaster of paris.

Many Ellis County residents are descendants of German immigrants who came from the Volga River region of Russia. These settlers were people who migrated from Germany to Russia following the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. They were invited to migrate to Russia by Catherine the Great, who was born in Germany and was the leader of Russia at the time. As an inducement to these potential immigrants, she promised freedom of religion, freedom from military conscription, free land and an exemption from taxation. They settled in villages on the eastside of the Volga River (hence, the name Volga-Germans) and turned to building their lives in their new homes.

In 1874 the reigning Czar began to remove the privileges Catherine the Great had promised the Volga Germans. Consequently, the Volga-Germans began to search for a new homeland. In 1875 they sent a scouting party of five men to America to inform themselves of the climate, soil and living conditions suitable for their farming lifestyle. These scouts found the Kansas plains similar to the steppes region of Russia and a large number of the Volga-Germans decided to migrate to America. In October and November of 1875, many of these immigrants left their villages along the Volga River and traveled to Saratov, Russia to begin their journey to America. The first Volga Germans arrived in Hays the middle of February 1876 and traveled south to settle land along the Big Timber Creek. Liebenthal was the first community to be founded on February 22, 1876. The other communities of Catherine, Herzog, Pfeifer, Munjor, and Schoenchen were settled during the spring and summer of 1876. Although they had the same religion, ethnicity and culture, they continued to focus on life in their individual communities. Just as they had done in Russia, they retained their language with the various dialects that were spoken by the people of each village. Each individual village also retained traditions of food, family, religion and marriage
For more informaiton about the Volga German Heritage of Ellis County visit www.germancapitalofkansas.com


Admission: Admission price include admission to the Ellis County Historical Museum
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 to 6:00 pm
Address: 100 W. 7th - Hays, KS
Phone: 785-628-2624
Our Email: visitors@elliscountyhistoricalsociety.org
Our Website:www.elliscountyhistoricalmuseum.org

Come visit us in Hays, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex

Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex 1376 Hwy 40 Hays, KS 67601 785-623-2650 Fax: 785-623-2650 Construction of the Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex began in 2010 and completed in the fall of 2011. This brand new facility sits on 120

Hays, KS Sports Complexes

Volga-German Heritage

Volga German settlers began arriving in Ellis County in the mid-1870'

Hays, KS Ethnic Heritage

The Battle of the Saline River

The survey party was unprepared for the attack and the men were mowed down like grass before a scythe. P.S. Ashley and his crew of six men were careless that day, August , 1867

Hays, KS Battlesites

Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course

(public) This well-maintained course built in 1920, and designed by Dewey Longworth, has excellent bent grass greens. A few trees can alter your shots. Even though there are few sand bunkers, there are water hazards coming into play on a couple of holes. Hole #18, a 155-yard, par 3

Hays, KS Golf Courses

Farmers Market and Fresh Produce Market

Hays Farmers Market Parking Lot - 27th & Vine Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings June through October Hours: Sat 8-noon, Wed 5-8 pm Admission: Free Local farmers and gardeners sell a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit, farm products and baked goods Fresh Produce Market 2900

Hays, KS Farmers Markets

Things to do Museums near Hays, KS