Type of Settlement: Mother
Founded: between 1808-1810
Other Names and Spellings:
Also: Halbdorf, Kolosova, Kolosowa
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.
More of this article can be found in [Glückstal-2004] pp. 93-104.
Read more about Bergdorf in its 1848 Chronicle.
By Homer Rudolf, 2009
Edited and updated by Sandy Schilling Payne, 2022
Progress of the Colony
Colony founded with 68 families.
School built soon after the colony was settled.
Russian military troops fighting Turks placed burden on the colony.
Bergdorf only 1.5 versts from military road leading from Balta to Tiraspol.
New school opened.
New church planned. Considerable stone already hauled to site. Hopes for support of Welfare committee.
Communal granary established to help the poor.
3925 dessiatins of land.
New church was dedicated on 21 October.
168 farmyards, 4,134 dessiatins of land.
Stone church and school building.
School with 2 classes and 300 children.
Distance from the Parish headquarters in Glückstal was 12 versts.
Bergdorf leaves Glückstal parish to establish an independent parish.
First pastor arrived.
Purchased electronically controlled gas lights for the church.
Konsumverein Gemeindeladen (community cooperative store).
On 12 January, Gesellschaft Gegenseitigen Kredit (Mutual Credit Association) opened.
Mutual Credit Association transactions = 8,214,498 rubles, 16 kopeks, with a profit of 10,324 rubles, 3 kopeks.
On 9 December, Pastor Otto Seib ordained as the minister.
Old organ was being reconditioned again. It is quite small and old
School building is quite old.
The Küster’s (sexton) house is in the church garden.
200 school children, 3 teachers.
Mutual Credit Association creditworthiness was 801,700 rubles.
A new colony government building is needed.
Agricultural Mutual Credit Association had 553 members.
2 steam mills
1 cement brick/tile maker
some large beekeepers
4134 dessiatins, 1000 sq. faden of Crown land.
230 households farming, etc.
1552 souls (795 males and 757 females).
1881 Friedrich Mattwich
1882-84 Friedrich Frank
1885-87 Jakob Hermann
1888, 90 Friedrich Mattwich
1892 Fr. Scheuffle
1894, 96 Jakob Leicht
1897-98 Heinrich Stein
1900-02 Johann Müller
1903-05 Jakob Maier
1906-08 Johann Hermann
1909-11 Ferdinand Fauth
1912-14 Jakob Schmidt
1915-? Fr. Ahl
Bergdorf Lutheran Parish was founded 1865.
1865-68 Paul Guntbert Christ. Baumann
1868-73 Adolf Lockenberg
1874-1900 Adalbert Karl Heinrich Birnbach
1901-04 Hermann Blumenbach
1912-24 Karl Otto Seit
? Fredrich Mertz
1881 Valentine Seib
1884-85 Wilhelm Wernik
1885-90 Gottlieb Zimmerman
1892, 94 Johann Bachmann
1896 Benjaminn Mauch
1898-1909 Christian Aldinger
1910-15 Christian Seib
1817 — Good crop.
1820 — Hail storm caused significant damage.
1828 — Grasshoppers.
— Livestock epidemic.
1833 — Total crop failure.
— Livestock epidemic.
1834 — Total crop failure.
1837 — Good crop.
1838 — Good crop.
1846 — Grasshoppers.
1847 — Serious drought, with severe shortage of fodder.
[Arcanum-1872] – “Russia (1872).” Arcanum Adatbázis Kft. maps.arcanum.com/en/map/russia-1872. 1872. [This map, although not identified on the website, is probably the work of Theodor Friedrich Schubert (1789-1865) a.k.a. Fedor Fedorovich Shubert. The 1860 and 1872 versions of this map appear on other map websites identified only as by "Schubert."]
[Bergdorf-1848] – “The Chronicle of Bergdorf,” transl. by Joseph S. Height. – Copies of this translation are available in three sources: [HeightH], pp. 199-201; [Glückstal-2004], pp. 95-96; and at the website [Odessa3], Odessa3.org. The original German version can be found in [Leibbrandt], pp. 65-68.
[Bergdorf-1910] – Klüpfel, Johannes. “Das hundertjahrige Gründungsjahr der Kolonie Bergdorf, Süd-Russland,” in Eureka Post [EP], Eureka, SD: 17 Feb. 1910, p. 1. English transl. in [Glückstal- 2004], pp. 100-102.
[Glückstal-1915] – “Das Wolostgebiet Glückstal,” in [OdKal], 1915, pp. 108–128. English transl. in [Glückstal-2004], pp. 51-56; 68- 69; 86 & 96-97.
[Glückstal-2004] – Rudolf, Homer ed. The Glückstalers in New Russia and North America: A Bicentennial Collection of History, Genealogy and Folklore. Pierre, SD: State Pub. & Printing, 2004.
[GRHC-JHT] – Germans from Russia Heritage Collection Journey to the Homeland Tour Photo Collections, 1996-2019. Collections available on Flicker website, www.flickr.com/photos/ndsu-libraries-grhc/collections/72157637054248256/ and NDSU Repository website, library.ndsu.edu/ir/handle/10365/26147.
[HeightH] – Height, Joseph S. Homesteaders on the Steppe: Cultural History of the Evangelical- Lutheran Colonies in the Region of Odessa, 1804-1945. Bismarck: North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia [now the Germans from Russia Heritage Society], 1975.
[Keller] – Keller, Konrad. German Colonies in South Russia: 1804-1904, 2d ed. translated by Anton Becker, 2d. ed, with some revisions by Adam Giesinger, 2 vols . Lincoln: American Historical Society of Germans from Russia: 1980-1983. [NOTE: 1st ed: 1968-1973.] Digitized version.
[Leibbrandt] – Leibbrandt, Georg. Die deutschen Kolonien in Cherson und Bessarabien: Berichte der Gemeindeämter der lutherischen Kolonien in der ersten Hälfte des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. [The German colonies in Cherson and Bessarabia: reports from the parish offices of the Lutheran colonies in the first half of the nineteenth century.] Stuttgart: Ausland und Heimat Verlags-Aktiengesellschaft, 1926. Digitized version.
[Mertens] – Mertens, Ulrich, Allyn Brosz, Alex Herzog, and Thomas Stangl. German-Russian handbook: a reference book for Russian German and German Russian history and culture with place listings of former German settlement areas. Fargo, ND: Germans from Russia Heritage Collection (GRHC) Publications. 2010. Digitized version.
[OdKal] – Neuer Haus- und Landwirthschaftskalender für deutsche Aussiedler in südlicher Russland auf das Jahr ... [New house and farming calendar for German emigrants in Southern Russia for the year ...] Odessa: Druck und Verlag von L. Nitzsche, [published 1863-1915]. Digitized versions of 1906, 1909, 1910 and 1913.
[Schnurr1] – Schnurr, Joseph. Die Kirchen und das Religiöse Leben der Russlanddeutschen: Evangelischer Teil. [Churches and Religious Life of the Russian Germans: Protestant Part.] 2d ed. Stuttgart: Landsmannschaft der Deutschen aus Russland, 1978.
Page last updated 7 March 2022