Home > Exhibits & Events > Norka Founders' Day
Norka Founders' Day
Saturday, 17 August 2013
Concordia University Bell Tower on the Campus Green
As part of its year-long celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Catherine the Great's Manifesto inviting the Germans to Russia, the Center for Volga German Studies presents a day of programs celebrating those whose ancestors settled in the Volga German colony of Norka.

The public is invited to attend.

Cost is $30 for the day which includes all programs and a boxed lunch.

Pre-registration & payment by 5:00 p.m. on August 5 are required.

To register & pay by credit card, call Linda Church at 503.493.6370.
To register & pay by check, print the Registration Form and mail it in with your check.

Most events will be held in the Hagen Center on the campus of Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman St., Portland, Oregon [parking lot: corner of Holman St. & 27th St.]. The evening Social Hour will be held at the German American Society, 5626 NE Alameda St., Portland, Oregon.

Hotel: Special $89 rate is available at the Radisson Hotel, 6233 NE 78th Court, Portland, Oregon 97218 (3.5 miles from campus). To make a reservation, call 1-800-994-7878 and ask for the Concordia University rate.

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Welcome & Introductions
9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

History of Norka
Presenter: Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon.
The Volga German colony of Norka was founded on 15 August 1767, and for many years Norka's descendants celebrated the founding anniversary. It was called "Herrkommstag," and this year's celebration continues this tradition! Norka was located about 65 kilometers southwest of Saratov. Most of its original settlers came from Hessen. Steve will discuss the founding of the colony and describe some of its more interesting characters.
Steve Schreiber
Steve Schreiber
10:15 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Researching Norka's Families
Presenter: Brent Mai, Beaverton, Oregon.
Norka was one of the largest Volga German colonies and there are many resources available for researching your family's ancestry in Norka. Brent will examine the censuses of 1767, 1798, 1816, 1834, & 1857 that are available for Norka. There are also many resources in the collections of the Center for Volga German Studies which will be of assistance to those whose ancestors lived in Norka.
Brent Mai
Brent Mai
11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Portland's "Little Russia" Neighborhood
Presenter: Jerry Schleining, Gresham, Oregon.
More than 500 households of Volga Germans settled in Portland's "Little Russia" neighborhood in north and northeast Portland. Many of these families were from Norka. Jerry will provide an overview of the Norka settlement in Portland and share a few stories.
Jerry Schleining
Jerry Schleining
11:30 a.m. - Noon

Dedication of the Spady Reception Hall
Presenter: Dr. Bill Spady, Jr., Dillon, Colorado.
The ancestors of both William & Edith (Deines) Spady came to Portland from Norka. The Spady family has generously supported the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University and William & Edith are being honored by naming the Spady Reception Hall in their honor. Please join in the dedication ceremony which will be held in the CVGS (Suite 300 of the Concordia Library).
Noon - 1:15 p.m.

Lunch - A "boxed lunch" featuring German-style foods is included in the registration fee.
Lunch will be served in the Concordia Library, on the third floor adjacent to the Center for Volga German Studies.
1:30p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

The "New Immigrant" Story
Presenter: Marina Webber, Calgary, Alberta.
Marina's family remained in Norka until 1941 when they were deported to Central Asia. She will share her personal journey that led from Russia to Canada only 14 short years ago. It's an amazing story that stirs up great appreciation for the sacrifices that our ancestors made for our benefit!
Marina Webber
2:15 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Norka's Canadian Settlements
Presenter: Reuben Miller, Stony Plain, Alberta.
The Volga German immigrants to North America settled in many locations including Canada. Reuben will discuss the locales where Norka's descendants settled there.
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Food Customs of Norka
Presenter: Ruth Werner, Portland, Oregon.
Food traditions are a major component of one's cultural heritage. The Volga German immigrants from Norka brought with them many food customs, some of which seem very German and others which seem to be Russian in derivation. Ruth Werner will demonstrate how to make Riwwelkuchen and Kraut Kuchen. There will be samples to share!!!
Ruth Werner
Ruth Werner
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Volga German Music
Presenter: Kurt Goldenstein, Eugene, Oregon.
Music traditions constitute another very important part of one's cultural heritage. Kurt Goldenstein has written a book about these traditions among the Volga Germans and will share his knowledge and expertise in this area. You may well hear some interesting examples of Volga German music during this presentation!
Kurt Goldenstein
Kurt Goldenstein
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Social Hour
Host: Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon.
Opportunities for socializing are perhaps the most fundamental means through which family traditions are passed down from one generation to another. Those attending Norka Founders' Day are invited to join in a "Social Hour" for sharing stories and reminiscing about the past. There will be a no-host bar with wine and beer. Location: This event will be held off-campus at the German American Society - about three miles from campus.
German American Society in Portland
German American Society
5626 NE Alameda St.
Portland, Oregon
SUNDAY, August 18 : Noon - 3:00 p.m.

Individualized Research Time
Trained CVGS Volunteers will be available to help you with your specific research questions. This will take place in the Center for Volga German Studies, Suite 300 in the Concordia Library.
Concordia's LibraryConcordia University Library
The CVGS is on the 3rd Floor.
Last updated 2 August 2013.