Messer
Names
Messer, Ust-Solicha, Ust-Solikha, Ust-Zalikha, Ust-Zolicha, Ust-Zolikha
Location
50º58' N 45º33' E
History
      Messer was founded as a Reformed colony on 7 July 1766 by the Government on the Zolicha River, near its confluence with the Goloi Karamysh. The 85 founding colonist families came from the Palatinate, Hesse, and Prussia. A government decree on 26 February 1768 gave Messer its official Russian name of Ust-Solikha.
Church
      Originally, Messer was the lead congregation in a group of Reformed parishes that included Moor, Kutter, Kautz, Anton, and Balzer.
      A new church building was constructed in an early form of the Kontor Style. It was completed in 1835 and built of wood. A new brick church in the Neo-Classical style was built in Messer in 1912.
Pastors
      The following pastors served the congregation in Messer:

The following served as vicar in the Messer parish:

Population
Population Table
Year
Households
Population
Total
Male
Female
1767
92
308
1769
85
329
175
154
1773
87
397
206
191
1788
84
581
287
294
1798
86
619
327
292
1816
112
960
513
447
1834
193
1,828
941
887
1850
190
2,704
1,340
1,364
1857
259
3,327
1,663
1,664
1859
198
3,403
1,712
1,691
1886
359
3,102
1,574
1,528
1891
326
4,260
2,152
2,108
1894
348
4,627
2,305
2,322
1897
3,403*
1,702
1,701
1905
5,057
1910
5,196
1912
5,295
1920
611**
4,344
1922
3,425
1923
3,200
1926***
649
3,716
1,765
1,951
1931
3,706****
*Of whom 3,375 were German.
**Of which 605 households were German.
***Of whom 3,712 were German (646 households: 1,764 male & 1,948 female).
****Of whom 3,703 were German.
Sources:
- Amburger, Erik. Die Pastoren der evangelischen Kirchen Rußlands (Lüneburg, Germany: Institut Nordostdeutsches Kulturwerk, 1998): 137.
- Beratz, Gottieb. The German colonies on the Lower Volga, their origin and early development: a memorial for the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first German settlers on the Volga, 29 June 1764. Translated by Adam Giesinger (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1991): 351.
- Diesendorf, V.F. Die Deutschen Russlands : Siedlungen und Siedlungsgebiete : Lexicon. Moscow, 2006.
- List of Settlements in the Russian Empire in 1859, vol. 38: Saratov Province (St. Petersburg, 1862): 59.
- Mink, A.N. Historical and Geographical Dictionary of the Saratov Province [in Russian] (Saratov, Russia, 1898): 1068-1072.
- Orlov, Gregorii. Report of Conditions of Settlements on the Volga to Catherine II, 14 February 1769.
- Pallas, P.S. Reise durch verschiedene Provinzen des Russischen Reichs. Theil 3,2, Reise aus Sibirien zurueck an die Wolga im 1773sten Jahr (St. Petersburg: Kaiserl. Academie der Wissenschaften, 1776): 622.
- Pleve, Igor R. The German Colonies on the Volga: The Second Half of the Eighteenth Century, translated by Richard Rye (Lincoln, NE: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 2001): 319.
- Preliminary Results of the Soviet Census of 1926 on the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (Pokrovsk, 1927): 28-83.
- Schnurr, Joseph, Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen - Evangelischer Teil (Stuttgart: Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1972).
- "Settlements in the 1897 Census." Journal of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia (Winter, 1990): 19.
External Links
Messer (wolgadeutsche.net) - in Russian
Last updated 22 August 2014.
Map showing Messer (1935).


Old Messer Church
(built in 1835)
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 1972


Old Messer Bell Tower
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 1972


Messer Reformed Church


Interior of
Messer Reformed Church
Source: Steve Schreiber


Messer church and congregation


Messer church (ca. 1913)
Source: Heimatbuch der Deutschen aus Rußland, 2005


Messer church in 2001. Photos courtesy of Steve Schreiber.


Messer adminstrative office (Volost) circa 1930


Messer street scene