Home > Exhibits & Events > Holstein 250th in Russell
Celebrating the
250th Anniversary
of the Founding
of Holstein
Saturday, 18 July 2015
Concordia University Bell Tower on the Campus Green
      The German village of Holstein was founded on 25 May 1765 as one of 106 colonies established along the Volga River on the barren Russian steppe.

      To celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the establishment of Holstein, the descendants of Leonhard Maÿ (d. 1667) and the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University are hosting an ALL MAI FAMILY REUNION in Russell, Kansas, on 18 July 2015.

      Most descendants of Leonhard Maÿ use the spelling of Mai or May today. Leonhard lived in the German village of Spackbrücken, southeast of Darmstadt in the contemporary German State of Hessen. Some of his descendants immigrated to Russia in the 1760s and then on to North & South America beginning in the 1870s. Some immigrated directly from Spachbrücken to the U.S. in the 1830s & 1840s.

Spachbrücken Today

Because food has to be prepared, advanced registration on or before July 8 is required.

Cost for the day (includes lunch, all programs, dinner, and dance):
$24.00 per adult
$8.50 per child (age 3-10; 2 & under free)

To attend only the dance, the cost is $10 per person, payable at the door.

To register & pay by credit card, call Tanya Bushnell at 503.493.6369.
If you prefer to pay by check, call Tanya, and she will assist with that process.


Registration, lunch, all sessions, dinner, and dance will be at the
VFW Hall
248 Bob Dole Dr.
Russell, Kansas.

Following is the schedule of activities for the day:

8:30-9:00 Registration
9:00-9:15 Welcome
This reunion is hosted by the Reinhardt Mai family under the leadership of Linda Mai Dunekack & Marilyn Mai Haffner along with Brent Mai, Director of the Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.
9:15-10:00 Session 1: Spachbrücken - Our Ancestral Home in Germany
The Mai family begins in the small German village of Spachbrücken, southeast of Darmstadt, in the modern State of Hessen.
10:15-11:00 Session 2: Introduction to the Volga Germans and their Heritage
How did our family come to be in Russia?
11:15-Noon Session 3: The History of Holstein, Kratzke, Ährenfeld, & Eckheim
Our family first settled in the colony of Holstein with subsequent generations re-settling to the colonies of Kratzke, Ährenfeld, and Eckheim.
12:30-1:45 Banquet Luncheon - your choice of fried chicken or smothered steak along with potato casserole, green beans, corn, tossed salad, pistashio fluff, oreo fluff, and bread & butter.
1:45-2:30 Session 4: Immigration to the U.S., Canada, and Argentina
Beginning in 1830s, descendants of Leonhard Maÿ began moving to the U.S. from Germany. They were followed in 1876 by those who had moved first to Russia.
2:45-3:30 Session 5: The 1941 Deportation of the Volga Germans
Our relatives who remained in Russia suffered a terrible fate which culminated with their eviction to Siberia in September 1941.
3:45-4:30 Session 6: Our Musical Heritage
Music is a very important part of Volga German culture. Garry Batt & his son Terry will take us on a stroll through our musical heritage.
4:45-5:30 Session 7: Questions & Wrap-up
Question & Answer forum on all things about the history of the descendants of Leonhard Maÿ.
5:30-6:30 Supper
A time to celebrate our heritage and our family over a sandwich buffet: roast beef, ham, & turkey along with cheese, potato salad or slaw, baked beans, chips, and chocolate cake.
6:30-9:00 Dance
Enjoy dancing to traditional & contemporary music provided by Garry Batt!
Lunch & Supper

Lunch & supper are included with the cost of registration. Menus are listed in the schedule of events.

There is plenty of parking near the VFW Hall. No fee.
Hotel Accommodations

There are several hotels/motels in Russell. Here is the contact information for several of them:

Days Inn
1225 S. Fossil St.
Russell, Kansas

Fossil Creek Hotel & Suites (reunion rate $84.99 if reserved before July 3)
1430 S. Fossil St.
Russell, Kansas

Super 8
1405 S. Fossil St.
Russell, Kansas

There are also a number of hotels in Hays, 30 minutes west of Russell. Here is the contact information for several of them:

Baymont Inn & Suites
3801 N. Vine St.
Hays, Kansas

Best Western Butterfield Inn
1010 E. 41st St.
Hays, Kansas

Fairfield Inn
377 Mopar Dr.
Hays, Kansas

Hampton Inn
4002 General Hays Rd.
Hays, Kansas

Holiday Inn Express
4650 Roth Ave.
Hays, Kansas

Sponsorship Opportunities

There are several opportunities to have your family, company, or organization recognized during the conference. For details, contact Tanya Bushnell (email: tbushnell@cu-portland.edu; phone: 503.493.6369).
Last updated 20 April 2015.