Also celebrating the 150th emigration of our ancestors in 1874 - 2024
The Russian Passport Scavenger Hunt is historical fiction - Names, photos and stories are real to this community and this museum, but they were assembled for the scavenger hunt only.
Fern Bartel nee Schmidt
My name is Jakob H. Bergen. I am 20 years old and unmarried, yet. I am traveling with my oldest brother and his large family.
Our village is leaving So. Russia because the Government wants to draft young men into the Russian army. One of our Mennonite beliefs is that fighting in the army is against the teachings of Jesus.
Nah oba, I was landless in Russia, so I have been making a living by doing blacksmith work yet. My brother had taken over the farm in our Alexanderwohl village, from our elderly
parents. Every farming family carefully sorted the best Turkey Red, the hard red winter wheat kernels from last years' crop. Only the best seeds went into the sacks. To keep them safe we packed these sacks along with our other belongings in the big wooden chest. This will be our seed stock for the coming year's wheat crop in Kansas, yet.
My name is Helena Unruh. I am 9 years old. I have three older brothers and 4 younger siblings, with 3 of them being girls and one boy. Nah oba, I feel sort of overwhelmed by my family, yet. Because I am the oldest girl in the family, dat my mother depends on me to watch the younger children.
I am in charge of bringing the basket with the toasted zwiebach so the young ones beg me, for a snack to eat.
We packed all of our families belongings into a wooden trunk. The waffle iron was one of the first things we tucked in a folded blanket. I love it when my mother makes waffles for the family, but we haven't had any on this long journey.
My fadder did say I could bring my doll's cradle, dat he made for me last year. Oba, my cousin's fadder told her she couldn't bring her doll, there was no room in their wooden chest. Ach, so she hid her doll, by sewing it into the hem of her skirt, "nach".
My name is Peter Buller. I am 11 years old. My "fadder" said we would be making a long trip to Amerika. Along the way we would be on a ship traveling over dat very large body of water the ocean.
Well, I love to fish, so my friends and I brought along our fish hooks so we could catch some "grota" fish. I am so excited to have this adventure and "oba," do I love to fish,
My father is Elder of the Alexanderwohl village Mennonite Church so we needed to bring our big German family Bible and song books that are also in German. German is the language use in our Mennonite church. But at home we talk Low-German, our mother tongue. That is much easier because I think in Low-German.
My parents took down the large Kroeger wall clock from our house and wrapped it in a thick wool blanket. It is a most prized possession and needs to be protected. It was put in a snug spot at the bottom of the large wooden chest that is our family "suitcase."
200 N. Poplar
My name is Katharina Reimer. I am 8 years old. We pack the wooden trunk with all the items we will need in our new home. How will we know what we will need in a new land called Kansas?
All I know is of my wonderful village of Alexanderwohl in South Russia. "Ach", at least I have all my "frintschoft" (relatives) and many friends dat are all leaving at the same time. Only seven families of our village, are not moving to this new Kansas place.
My uncle has been busy weaving cloth on his loom for "death shrouds." They say we all need to have one in case we die at sea. I don't know what that means, but I hear the adults talking about it.
I am the youngest in my family and we are traveling with my oldest married sister, her husband and their young children. Her oldest boy is not well and I am scared he might be the first to use his shroud.
My name is Heinrich Schmidt. I am 8 years old. My fadder's name is Heinrich Schmidt but I have heard people call him "Hans" Dhen, dhere is my first cousin Heinrich Schmidt, yet. We call him "Pie Plate" because he always finishes the last crumbs of any pie at gatherings My grandfadder Heinrich Schmidt, they call him "Ohm Heinrich Schmidt" since he is a minister in the Alexanderwohl village Mennonite church. Dhen there's my mother's brother, Oncle Heinrich Schmidt. "Potato" Schmidt is his nickname, because he raises lots of potatoes. I guess that I have not done enough living to get a "nickname" yet.
I loved the two brown horses that we had to leave behind in Russia. Last summer my fadder got me out of bed very early. Ach, even before breakfast yet. In order to ride one of dhese horses pulling the threshing stone. It was getting warm in the sun and the team of horses went round and round. When the ground came up to hit me in dhe face, yet, it woke me up pretty fast, then.
The threshing stone was high "tech" in Russia since every farmer had one. It knocked out the wheat kernels from the wheat heads and was so much faster than flailing the wheat. My fadder brought a pattern of the threshing stone in order to have them made in Kansas out of limestone rock.
My name is Lena Schmidt. I am now 15 years old, unmarried and living with my oldest brother Heinrich's family. He has 3 small children under the age of 6, and his wife is heavy with another child. I have helped with their children and household chores for a year now. Heinrich and Anna, his wife, need all the help they can get to keep the children together on the long trip to Kansas, Amerika.
I come from the Molotchna Mennonite Colony,
South Russia, from the village of Alexanderwohl. Now the area is called Ukraine. We are not Russian. Oba, yes we consider ourselves German. High German is the language of the our Mennonite Church but we all speak Low German, at home, yet.
This Russian Passport Scavenger Hunt is historical fiction - Names, photos and stories are real to this community and this museum, but they were assembled for the scavenger hunt.
Fern Bartel nee Schmidt
200 N. Poplar