Fresno, Fresno Co., California
The first group of Volga Germans to immigrate to Fresno left the colonies of Straub and Stahl am Tarlyk on 8 May 1887. They arrived at the old Southern Pacific Depot in Fresno on 19 June 1887. This first group was comprised of 31 men, women, and children. It consisted of the following families: Andreas, Berg, Kerner, Karle, Metzler, Mehling, Nillmaier, and Steitz. The second and third waves of Volga German arrivals in Fresno brought the following families: Bopp, Bitter, Diel, Gleim, Hartwig, Heinze, Hubert, Lieder, Roth, Scheerer, and Schwabenland.
Over the years, immigrants also arrived from Anton, Bangert, Gnadendorf, Jost, Kautz, Kukkus, Laub, Lauwe, Neu-Schilling, Shcherbakovka, Stahl am Karaman, and Warenburg. By 1891, the number of Volga Germans living in Fresno reached 167; by 1899 it was 734; and by 1908, it had reached 3,000. By 1920, the Volga German population in and around Fresno had grown to 8,000. The Volga German population by 1970 reached over 100,000, and it is estimated today that there are at least 250,000 Volga German descendants in the Fresno metropolitan area.
The original Volga German neighborhood in Fresno was bounded by Church, Mono, G, and Fruit Streets.
St. Paul's Lutheran
Wartburg Lutheran Church
Zion Congregational Church
The following Volga German families are known to have settled in and around Fresno:
Dermer from Straub
Eichmann from Schwab
Ganshorn from Anton
Gaus from Fischer
Gossman from Urbach
Spomer from Stahl am Tarlyk
Zisch from Dinkel
- Germantown, Fresno (Fresno, CA: City of Fresno, Planning and Development Department, 2006). (online link)
- Koch, Fred C. The Volga Germans: In Russia and the Americas, from 1763 to the Present (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1977): 215.
- "The Religious History of the Germans-Russians in the USA." California District Council Report (Fall 2003): 6-7. (online link)