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Ellis County, Kansas
Thu September 5, 2013
Roadtrip: Town of 200 keeps Volga German heritage alive with weekend feast
Small-town Schoenchen is keeping its heritage alive with a German feast of green bean dumpling soup, sauerkraut soup, German sausage, ham and beans, noodles, homemade bread, pies, kuchen and other desserts this Sunday. While enjoying dinner, traditional sounds of polkas and waltzes will fill the air according to the Bee.
Schoenchen was founded in the spring of 1876 by 35 families who originally settled Liebenthal, near the Big Timber Creek. The immigrants came from colonies along the lower Volga river in Russia. They moved their new homes after land disputes in which in the permanent location of Liebenthal and property were given to the church.
This small community was unlike other German immigrant villages in Ellis County. They did not gather around a large village cross for Sunday services, but worships around homemade crosses in their homes or attended mass in Hays.
Today, the quiet community of 200, centers much of activities around the church that was built in 1881. The annual feast is a fundraiser for St Anthony Church.
Learn more about this little community preserving its legacy here.