© Heinz Schoon 2017
The Settlement
After the Russian government lifted the quarantine on the Danube Island, the emigrants began the arduous journey to Bessarabia. The few remaining belongings were transported on ox carts. Already on the journey it was clear to the settlers that this steppe land would be difficult to cultivate. It can be assumed that the settlers arrived in Colony No. 12 at the end of August 1817. The conditions for the settlement were very bad. People were exhausted, malnourished and ill. Especially the dysentery spread. More than 100 people died in the first five months. In their assigned area in the valley of Kogaelnik river they built earthen huts to hibernate. As settlers from other colonies had to learn, only a part of the promised aid deliveries was handed over. Each colonist was assigned land by the government, about 65 hectares (150 acres), a wagon, a pair of oxen, various farming tools and funds. Shortly after arrival the yard areas were surveyed and assigned to the settlers. They began their agricultural work as early as the spring of 1818. The steppes were uncultivated and so it was a hard physical job for the settlers to turn this steppe into farmland. Thistles, weeds and tall grass grew on this treeless landscape. Pearlziesel (citellus suslicus, Russian Suslik) - also known as Erdhasen, and especially locusts ate a large part of the harvest and made the agricultural use of the land more difficult. However, the very fertile black soil raised hopes for productive harvests. Colony 12 (later Teplitz) was built on the Kogaelnik River. In summer, the river was a trickle, but in heavy rain or snowmelt it flooded the banks very quickly, flooding parts of the village. The agricultural equipment, work animals and seeds provided by the Russian government were far from sufficient. According to Herbert Weiß's description in his chronicle of Teplitz, the first seed is said to have been hoeled into the ground. Later on wooden ploughs were used, which were fogged with iron. Two or three pairs of oxen pulled the ploughs. The settlers cultivated cereals (wheat, millet, barley and oats) and maize (maize grain). The settlers initially cut the grain with sickles, tied sheaves and threshed them with flails. They could only thresh in dry weather under great physical exertion. The threshing period often lasted until November. The steppe was very suitable for cattle breeding. In the beginning bulls and cows were kept. Just one year later, however, there were also horses in Teplitz. Sheep, pigs and chickens gradually became at home in the farms. In summer shepherds drove the horses, cows and sheep on pastures belonging to the municipality or on mowed meadows. However, the water of the Kogaelnik was insufficient, especially in summer, and so the Teplitz colonists drilled two cattle wells to supply water. From 1832 the first vineyards were established on the northern mountain range. Each farm grew its own wine. The barren, treeless steppe offered a bleak picture. Soon the settlers planted fruit and forest trees. The main aim was to counteract soil dehydration and soil erosion caused by wind. In the years up to the resettlement, all lands of the colony were assigned. The inhospitable steppe, which the settlers found in 1817, soon led to productive agriculture.
Ausspruch eines Siedlers: “ Des isch koi Russland, desch isch a Sauland.! “Es war ein ödes, baumloses, mit Disteln und Dornen bewachsenes Land, in dem sich viel Ungeziefer aufhielt.” Das schrieb Herbert Weiß in seiner Chronik.
© Heinz Schoon 2017
The Settlement
After the Russian government lifted the quarantine on the Danube Island, the emigrants began the arduous journey to Bessarabia. The few remaining belongings were transported on ox carts. Already on the journey it was clear to the settlers that this steppe land would be difficult to cultivate. It can be assumed that the settlers arrived in Colony No. 12 at the end of August 1817. The conditions for the settlement were very bad. People were exhausted, malnourished and ill. Especially the dysentery spread. More than 100 people died in the first five months. In their assigned area in the valley of Kogaelnik river they built earthen huts to hibernate. As settlers from other colonies had to learn, only a part of the promised aid deliveries was handed over. Each colonist was assigned land by the government, about 65 hectares (150 acres), a wagon, a pair of oxen, various farming tools and funds. Shortly after arrival the yard areas were surveyed and assigned to the settlers. They began their agricultural work as early as the spring of 1818. The steppes were uncultivated and so it was a hard physical job for the settlers to turn this steppe into farmland. Thistles, weeds and tall grass grew on this treeless landscape. Pearlziesel (citellus suslicus, Russian Suslik) - also known as Erdhasen, and especially locusts ate a large part of the harvest and made the agricultural use of the land more difficult. However, the very fertile black soil raised hopes for productive harvests. Colony 12 (later Teplitz) was built on the Kogaelnik River. In summer, the river was a trickle, but in heavy rain or snowmelt it flooded the banks very quickly, flooding parts of the village. The agricultural equipment, work animals and seeds provided by the Russian government were far from sufficient. According to Herbert Weiß's description in his chronicle of Teplitz, the first seed is said to have been hoeled into the ground. Later on wooden ploughs were used, which were fogged with iron. Two or three pairs of oxen pulled the ploughs. The settlers cultivated cereals (wheat, millet, barley and oats) and maize (maize grain). The settlers initially cut the grain with sickles, tied sheaves and threshed them with flails. They could only thresh in dry weather under great physical exertion. The threshing period often lasted until November. The steppe was very suitable for cattle breeding. In the beginning bulls and cows were kept. Just one year later, however, there were also horses in Teplitz. Sheep, pigs and chickens gradually became at home in the farms. In summer shepherds drove the horses, cows and sheep on pastures belonging to the municipality or on mowed meadows. However, the water of the Kogaelnik was insufficient, especially in summer, and so the Teplitz colonists drilled two cattle wells to supply water. From 1832 the first vineyards were established on the northern mountain range. Each farm grew its own wine. The barren, treeless steppe offered a bleak picture. Soon the settlers planted fruit and forest trees. The main aim was to counteract soil dehydration and soil erosion caused by wind. In the years up to the resettlement, all lands of the colony were assigned. The inhospitable steppe, which the settlers found in 1817, soon led to productive agriculture.