From the Vistula  Delta to Chortitza  (p. 34)


The first group under the leadership of Jacob Hoeppner left Bohnsach, a little village near Danzig, at nine a.m. on Easter Sunday, March 22, 1788. The emigrants travelled alternately by sleigh and wagon to Riga and then south along the Dongava River to Dubrovno where 228 families were forced to spend a terrible winter.

Renewed hostilities between Russia and Turkey forced Potemkin to locate the first Mennonite settlement not near Berislav as planned but on his own private estate adjacent to the Chortitza Island. In June, 1789, the first settlers arrived at the point where the Chortitza River joins the Dnieper. The big oak provided their first shelter.