Other Names and Spellings:
History of the Colony
Mertens [Mertens, pp. 240-241] gives the span of 1808-1810 for the founding of the village, which ranges from the time the decision was made to resettle the colonists living in Grigoriopol through the period when the village was actually settled in 1810. [Glückstal-1915] gives 1808, [Keller, vol 1, p. 31] gives 1809, and, beginning in the 1896 edition, [OdKal] gives 1810.
Bergdorf is always listed in third place among the Glückstal colonies, ahead of Kassel, so the assumption is that is was settled before Kassel. Bergdorf was settled by 68 families: 263 individuals – 136 males and 127 females. Again Württemberg was the place of origin for the largest number of families – 35; 21 came from Alsace, 4 from Baden, 1 from Palatinate, 1 from Prussian-Poland, 1 from Hungary, 1 from Hamburg, and 1 from Hesse. This resulted in a population that was about half Swabian and half Franconian. They had arrived in 1808 and 1809 in parties without leaders, or conductors.
When they arrived at the village site in 1810 they encountered a few Armenian farmers from Grigoriopol. The site itself had a few wells, but no houses. Their loans from the Russian government totaled 60,465 rubles: 32,160 for provisions, 26,225 for settlement, and 2,080 for seed; and their assets were estimated to value ca. 3,000 rubles.
Located in a narrow spur near the north end of the Tschornenko valley, the site of Bergdorf is in a very hilly area, which prompted its name “Mountain Village.” The name again was suggested by Councilor von Rosenkampf. Today it is known as Kolosova, which is a variant of the name the Bergdorfers gave to the valley in which it was located: Kalossova—after its first inhabitant, an Armenian name Kalos who farmed and raised cattle until the colonists arrived. [Mertens, pp. 240-241] erroneously gives Halbdorf as a variant name for Bergdorf. The source of that information likely is the 1848 Chronicle of the village of Rohrbach, which states: “Opposite the main village, on the southwest eminence of the valley, lies Halbdorf (or Bergdorf) with its beautiful houses built ten years ago (1838), now numbering some 36 houses. From Halbdorf, the entire colony of Rohrbach can be viewed.”
The village is 14 versts [1 verst = 0.66 mile] northwest of Glückstal, 45 versts from Tiraspol, and 260 versts from Odessa. Most of its 3,925 dessiatins [1 dessiatin = 2.7 acres] of crown land is also hilly, with good humus topsoil. By 1859 its land had increased to 4,134 dessiatins, which is further refined to 4134 dessiatins, 1,000 square Faden in 1915 [Glückstal-1915].
The village was laid out with one main street that branched into three at the point where the church was constructed. Stone quarries for building rock were located 10-25 versts away, near Grigoriopol. By 1915 it consisted of 69 farmsteads, 230 households, and 1,552 individuals – 795 males and 757 females. The school then had 200 school children and three teachers.
In 1848, all kinds of winter and summer wheat, as well as fruits and vegetables are cited as thriving. In addition, they had planted 241,880 grapevines. Both livestock and wine were helpful sources of income in dry years. At that time there also existed 460 dessiatins of woods, including oak, blackthorn, whitethorn, alder, ash, and what was called “dye-wood”—used to provide dye for morocco leather. Although many of their fruit trees had been destroyed by drought, they still totaled 25,193. In the village, common acacias and willows were planted.
Progress of the Colony
Page last updated 7 March 2022