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The Volga Germans were accustomed to hard work and readily adapted from farming, blacksmithing and other occupations practiced in rural Russia to their new environment in the city. Many of the immigrants that settled in the Portland area worked for private employers such as the railroads and furniture factories. Some chose to establish their own businesses and many became successful entrepreneurs working as garbage collectors, grocers, freight haulers, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and saloon keepers.
In her unpublished manuscript titled My Mother's People, Emma Schwabenland Haynes wrote:
"Although all of my Portland relatives had to begin working at an early age, I have never heard any of them complain about their childhood years. On the contrary they looked back at the 1890's with almost a feeling of nostalgia, and they often talked about the good times that they had."
Last updated February 21, 2018.