Celebrating 250 Years of Volga German History​

Religion played an important role in the lives of the immigrant Volga Germans in Sheboygan. Since most had come from Lutheran churches in Russia, they joined or formed Lutheran churches here. Trinity Lutheran was the first church the immigrants joined. That was followed by St. Stephen’s, Ebenezer, St. Andrews, St. Pauls and Immanuel Lutheran. This picture of St. Stephen’s was taken in 1908. The church was located on the northwest corner of Erie Avenue and 14th Street in Sheboygan. Because so many German Russian families lived on Erie Avenue, it was known as Russian Boulevard by later descendants.

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Camels!

Camels were kept by Volga Germans families as beasts of burden. Irma Zitzer recalled a story about the first camels that came to Schulz. The horses were so afraid of the camels that they ran away. After a few days the camels and the horses got along quite well. She said camels were cheap to keep, were very strong for heavy work like plowing, and provided wool that was spun into yarn. Her mother brought a quilt to America which had camel’s wool batting. The wool had come from her favorite camel named Shirley.

Blankets

This finely woven camel’s hair blanket, above, was made by machine in Russia. On loan from Ed and Marge Canisius of Sheboygan.

Pickling the Watermelon Harvest in Russia.

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