Home > Exhibits & Events > Leavenworth, Washington 2017
250th Anniversary Celebration
26-28 April 2017
Icicle Village Resort
Leavenworth, Washington
Concordia University Bell Tower on the Campus Green
            The Center for Volga German Studies at Concordia University and the Council of Northwest Chapters of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia are sponsoring a celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the founding of the Volga German colonies of Frank, Hussenbach, Kautz, Kolb, Norka, and Yagodnaya Polyana,. 

            The public is invited to attend.


Early registration: $135 per person (registration received on or before 24 March 2017)
Regular registration: $165 per person (registration received between 25th March and 21 April 2017)
Registration fee includes all programs over the 3 days along with banquets on both Wednesday & Thursday evenings (Thursday lunch is on your own). There is no discount for partial attendance of this event. Notice of cancellation before 1 April 2017 will receive a full refund; after 1 April 2017 will receive no refund.

To register & pay by credit/debit card, use the online form.

If you prefer to pay by check, print the Registration Form, and mail it along with your check (instructions are on the form). To qualify for the Early Registration rate, payment must be received by 24 March.

If you have questions, please contact Valerie at highlife56.vm@gmail.com (email preferred) or 503.314.5686.


Icicle Inn
Icicle Village Resort - Leavenworth
Registration and all sessions will be held at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth, Washington.

            505 Highway 2
            Leavenworth, WA 98826

Parking: There is free parking on-site.

Hotel Accommodations

A special $109 rate (plus tax) is available on a limited number of rooms at the Icicle Village Resort. Rate includes a deluxe hot breakfast. Please call early to reserve your room, and be sure to quote the block rate CNC / AHSGR for the discount: (800) 961-0162  

Other nearby hotels include:

Howard Johnson Express Inn

Der Ritterhof

Fairbridge Inn & Suites

Silent Auction
      There will be a silent auction during this event. We are in the midst of procuring auction items. Please contact Jean Roth if you have an item to donate: jeanaroth@juno.com or (206) 782-2629. All procedes from the silent auction will go to the Center for Volga German Studies. More details about the auction will be posted soon.

Following is a draft schedule of the programs. The final schedule will be posted as soon as it is finalized.
Wednesday, 26 April 2017
12:00 noon - Registration Check-In
Welcome! Pick up your registration materials beginning at noon. Your name tag will be your ticket to all events, so keep track of it!

12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Welcome Introduction
Presenter: Charles Saranto, Touchet, Washington
President of the Council of Northwest Chapters (CNC) of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) and the International AHSGR Foundation Board of Directors.

12:45 pm - 1:30 pm - Introduction to the Center for Volga German Studies Library
Presenter: Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon
Steve is the Interim Director of the CVGS, President of the Oregon Chapter of AHSGR, and Norka Village Coordinator. Resources for researchers at the Center for Volga German Studies, Concordia University Portland Oregon. What’s new in acquisitions of church and census records from Russia as well as new Pleve charts.


1:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Genealogy Workshop and Reception
Research Assistants: CVGS Volunteers and AHSGR Village Coordinators
Steve Schreiber – Norka, Doris Evans and Maggie Hein – Frank and Kolb, Canton of Frank , Jean Roth – Walter and Walter Khutor, and Michael Frank – Kautz will be available to work with you individually to answer questions about your family's Volga German genealogy. For those not so interested in genealogy, this is a good time to renew acquaintenances and make new friends over a drink of your choice and snacks.

2:00 p.m. - Silent Auction

2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Resources for Volga Germans
Presenters: Maggie Hein, Glencoe, Illinois
We will take a look at the genealogical resources available to help you research your Volga German ancestors, beginning with documents that trace the voyage to Russia, the various censuses that are available from 1767 to 1900, and records available for the Volga German parishes in Russia. Many new records are now available!


3:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m - Break

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Locating Your Ancestors' German Origins
Presenter: Maggie Hein, Glencoe, Illinois
Approximately 95% of the Volga Germans can trace their families back to German villages in Hessen and the Palatinate in what is today southwestern Germany. Through years of research, we have s located the ancestral German villages for many of the Volga Germans who settled in our featured villages. AHSGR and the CVGS have special Origin sections of their websites.

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m - Genealogy Workshop (continued)

6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m - The Founding of Our Villages
Presenter: Steve Schreiber, Portland, Oregon
Following a Northwest buffett dinner ( baby back ribs, chicken, salmon, buttered corn, baked beans, tossed field greens, potato salad, apple slaw, cornbread, and fresh fruit), Steve Schreiber will speak about the founding of the villages. The German colonists went from their departure ports in Germany to St. Petersburg and Oranienbaum, There, they gave their loyalty to the Empress Catherine and future Tsars before finally moving in caravans on to the steppes surrounding Saratov and the Volga. River. The peak year was 1767 with 68 colonies established. The first years were difficult - many did not survive the harsh conditions and marauding nomadic tribes. Although greatly disillusioned by the lack of preparation for their arrival and the primitive conditions on the Steppes that they were forced to endure - the Germans adapted, and finally, within a few generations even prospered.


Thursday, 27 April 2017

9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. - Die Kirche: Heart and Soul of a Village
Presenter: Jean A. Roth, Seattle, Washington
2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. In 1517 , a priest, Martin Luther, posted his 95 complaints about the payment for indulgences on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany that began the split in the Catholic church and the formation of the Protestant faith. In an effort to avoid repetition of the religious conflicts of central Europe that had plagued most of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Volga German colonists were initially assigned to colonies based largely upon their religious affiliation - Catholic, Evangelical or Reformed. The Church was the center of the community. Outlawed and left to ruin by Stalin in 1931. Many of these magnificent ruins now dot the Steppes.

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Break
10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - TBA
Presenter: TBA

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Heritage Harvests: The Grand Agrarian Art of Our Ancestors' Three Homelands
Presenter: Dr. Richard Scheuerman, Richland, Washington
Through the centuries, great artists have captured colorful images of rural life. Imagine our ancestors’ farms - in Germany, in Russia, and in the Pacific Northwest.


12:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
Lunch is on your own (not included with registration fee). There are dozens of wonderful German restaurants off the central square in Leavenworth. There are also other ethnic restaurants as well. The square is about a 15 minute walk from the Icicle Inn, but there is also plenty of parking on the square if you want to drive.

2:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.. - Beginning of the End
Presenter: Jean A. Roth, Seattle, Washington
A series of events in Germany and Russia ended the village life of our Germans in Russia. Beginning with the emancipation of the Russian serfs in 1861 to Unification in Germany in 1871 and the revocation of the privileges granted by Catherine the Great - emigration to North and South America flourished. Then came the Russian Revolution in 1917. This was followed the rise of Lenin and Stalin with genocide, famine and the deportaion to the gulags of Siberia and Khazakstan with the advance of Hitler in 1941, and finally to the Fall of the Soviet Union.in 1991.

3:45 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Break
4:00 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. - TBA
Presenter: TBA

5:15 p.m. Silent Auction Ends


6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Fidgen and the Orange Tree
Presenters: Dr. Richard Scheuerman and Jean A. Roth
Following a German buffett dinner ((Bratwurst, German sausage, pork loin, sauerkraut, German potato salad, apple slaw, fresh fruit, & rolls), the presenters will take you through a living history reenactment:  Our People’s True Life Imperial Encounter. Embarking on the journey to the Volga through the eyes of a young German colonist.

Friday, 28 April 2017

9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - Return to the Bergseite Villages 2016
Presenter: Michael Frank, Vancouver, Washington
A group of travelers, led by Dr. Brent Mai and Dr. Mila Koretnekov, visited a number of Bergseie villages near the Volga River in 2016. We will see what remains of our proud heritage.

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m - Break

10:45 a.m. - 12 noon - Council of Northwest Chapters
Convener: Charles Saranto, Touchet, Washington
The Council of Northwest Chapters (CNC) of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (AHSGR) will hold a brief semi-annual business meeting.



Last updated 17 February 2017.