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Volga-German Heritage


category : Ethnic Heritage
Volga-German Heritage Volga German settlers began arriving in Ellis County in the mid-1870's. These frontier settlers were so named because prior to coming to the United States they had settled along the Volga River in Russia. Coming from a harsh climate, the Volga Germans were able to adapt and thrive in their new home. They learned to use what nature provided. A good example of this is their use of limestone in the absence of lumber. This can still be seen today in their homes, churches and fence posts. Being a very religious people, they expressed creativity in the construction of beautiful churches, many of which are still in use in the communities surrounding Hays. The most famous of the churches is the magnificent St. Fidelis Church, more commonly referred to as "the Cathedral of the Plains", which stands today as a monument to the Volga German immigrants and their enduring lifestyle. Starting in the month of February and continuing through November there is a German celebration nearly every month, with either a polkafest, Oktoberfest or church fundraiser with tasty German food and a polka mass. Although many of the German celebrations highlight the local Volga German food, polka music, beer and family gathering time, each event emphasizes their own traditions and unique activities. For a complete listing of the German celebrations in Ellis County go to www.haysusa.net


Hours: Varies
Address: 2700 Vine-Hays, KS 67601
Phone: 785-628-8202
Our Email: rschuckman@haysusa.com
Our Website:www.germancapitalofkansas.com

Come visit us in Hays, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Hays Public Library

A nationally-recognized leader for outstanding per capita usage, renovated and expanded in 2003 to match the original 1911 Carnegie library. The 39,000

Hays, KS Libraries

Blue Sky Minature Horse Farm

Donna and Marion Schmidt have operated their working horse farm for over 10 years and enjoy visiting with groups about this special breed of horses. Not to be confused with Shetland ponies, miniature horses are much like regular horses, except they are only 26-33"

Hays, KS Education Centers

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University opened in 1902 as the Western Branch of the Kansas Normal School. For the first two years classes were held at the Fort site. In 1904 the first stone building, Picken Hall, was completed on the "flats"

Hays, KS Education Centers

K.S.U. Ag Research Center

The 1895 Kansas legislature declared, "The experience of the settlers of the settlers upon the plains of western Kansas has demonstrated conclusively that agriculture cannot be pursued with profit under existing natural conditions."

Hays, KS Education Centers

Historic Downtown Chestnut Street District

The road in downtown Hays City that is now known as Main Street was originally called Chestnut Street in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The word "City" was officially dropped from the name Hays City in 1885 and by 1930

Hays, KS Historic Districts

Things to do Ethnic Heritage near Hays, KS