Leichtling Russia

Leichtling Russia1
The History of Leichtling
Now Known As
Ilovlinka (Иловлинка), of Ust'-Gryaznukha Selsovet (Village Soviet), Kamyshin Region, Volgograd Oblast

The town of Leightling was founded in the years 1767 by 143 German immigrants. The town was also known as Ilavlya or Rasowka. Leichtling is situated on the hilly side of the Volga, on the left side of the Ilavlya River. The colony was in the province of Saratov, in the district of the city of Kamyshin. It is 131 versts (86 miles) from Saratov, 54 versts (35.8 miles) from Kamyshin, 14 versts (9.3 miles) from Vodyanoi Buyerak (Stephan), 9 versts (6 miles) from Ust-Gryaznukkha (Gobel),   5 versts (3.3 miles) from Panovka (Hildmann), 3 versts (2 miles) from Karaulny Buyerak (Kohler), 17 versts (11.2 miles) from the Volga, and 25 versts 16.7 miles) from the boat landing. A verst is a unit of measurement of about 3500 feet or .6629 miles.

In the 1798 census, there were 154 male residents and 146 female residents, for a total of 300 residents in 46 families. The colony was comprised of all Roman Catholic residents, except for one Lutheran family. The Catholics residents belonged to the parish of Semenovka, where they had a priest and a parish church. There was a prayer house in the colony. The colony had a schoolmaster who worked under the direction of the priest, and taught the small children to read and write, along with some religious instruction, in a specially constructed building.

The land use was described in the 1798 census. In the Kontora land survey, the colony was allocated 4495 desyatinas (12,136.5 acres) of farm land, 48 desyatinas (129.6 acres) of hay lands, and 47 desyatinas (126.9 acres) of forest. Because of the shortage of hay lands and forest, they were given 177 desyatinas (477.9 acres) of vacant wasteland along the slopes of Semonov ravine. This was about 18 versts from the colony. This amount was later doubled. A desyatina was about 2.7 acres. The amount of allocated hay land did not actually exist. There was not more than 10 desyatinas (27 acres) of hay land. Their forests were about 10 desyatinas (27 acres) of oak and birch trees. 20 desyatinas (57 acres) of land was in farmsteads. 15 desyatinas (40.5 acres) was used for roads. About 400 desyatinas (1080 acres) was under cultivation. The rest of the land was hilly and saline. The used this land to pasture their livestock, because it was not productive for crops. Grass did not grow at all upon these lands. Most of the nearby wastelands were strongly held by the residents of the villages of Teterevetka and Verevkina. The colonists had to purchase feed for their livestock. The forests did not provide enough firewood. The colonists used dung fuel instead of purchased firewood. The colony had shortages in all areas of economic importance. Because of the lack of land, the colony also had shortages of hemp and flax.

In 1798, all of the residents of Leichtling were involved in farming. There were two weavers in the colony. The people lived in moderate conditions. Most of the buildings in the colony were dilapidated, but repaired. There were two new houses. There were no stone or adobe buildings, because there was no source of suitable stone nearby. The yards were fenced with wattle. The gardens were situated nearly near the Ilavlya River. There were no orchards or apiaries. The colony had one mill. The farm land was divided into three fields, and crop rotation was practiced. The farmers tilled with iron plows and mostly horses. The closest fields were right next to the village, and were fertilized with manure. In 1798, the harvest was mediocre, and in the past April, much of the crops were eaten by gophers. The gophers ate more than 60 desyatinas (162 acres) of rye, wheat, oats, and millet.

The grain was harvested and threshed in threshing floors nearby. There was concern about the danger of fire, and were instructed by government officials to build threshing floors in more distant locations. They were unable to build drying barns because of the lack of lumber. In 1798, one third of the harvest was stored in a community grain storage facility. This grain was rye, wheat, and oats. The other 2/3 of the grain was used by local families. The grain was sold in the city of Kamyshin.

The parish church burned on August 24, 1897, just after Mass. This was the feast of St. Bartholomew. Three visiting ministers tried to help save the church, but it was destroyed. The fire also burned the hay gardens, and destroyed one half of the food of the town. Six farms were destroyed in the fire.

In 1910, the colony had 185 farmyards with 1,836 people. All were Catholics. 295 males and 275 females could read and write. 37 families lived out of town. In 1910, there was no church in the colony. The church services were held in the school. (A new church was built in 1919.) There were two schools. One was a community school, and the other was a national school. The colony had 15 shoemakers, 4 weavers, 2 vatmakers, 2 wheelwrights, 2 carpenters, 1 tailor, and 2 musicians. The town had a small store, a tobacco shop, an oil mill, and a flour mill.

The community land use divided an area of 5,193 desyatinas. 5,117 desyatinas were used for farm land, 80 desyatinas were used for vegetable gardens, 11 desyatinas were used for the threshing floor, 50 desyatinas was used for hay lands, 154 desyatinas was used for forest, and the rest was used for animal grazing. One half of the land was black earth or soil, and the other half was clay loam and gravel. The land was hilly and divided by two valleys. In the fields were two drinking places or dams for the animals. The big road from Saratov to Astrakan went through the colony. The residents still sold their grain in Kamyshin. The residents of Leichtling paid 4,661 rubles in taxes.

In 1910, the emigration to foreign countries was limited to two families who moved to the Caucasus in 1861, 12 families who moved to Samara in 1884, and 6 families who moved to South America in 1886.

In 1912 the population was 2,535. By 1926 then population had declined by 1,330.

Leichtling Russia1
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Since May 5,1998
* Latitudes (N) and longitudes (E) given here were obtained from the gazetteer published by the
U.S. Board on Standard Names.