Welcome to The Volga Germans in Portland website. This site is a resource for learning about the history and traditions of this ethnic group.
Migrating from the German speaking lands of Western Europe in the mid 1760's, these colonists settled along the Volga River near the frontier town of Saratov. Here they built stable communities, developed productive farmland and established churches, schools and industries in their new Russian homeland.
By 1874, these ethnic Germans began to look for better economic opportunities and to escape military conscription. They looked to America as a place where they could maintain a way of life that was increasingly under threat in Russia. Many Germans living in Russia's lower Volga River region began immigrating to the United States and Canada in 1875, settling first in the Midwestern states and provinces. By 1881, a small group of these pioneersmigrated to the Pacific Northwest and madePortland their new home.