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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Southbury in New Haven County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Russian Village

Churaevka

 
 
Russian Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, January 23, 2010
1. Russian Village Marker
Inscription.
Russian Village: A Brief History

Formerly known as “Churaevka,” Russian Village was established in 1925 as an artistic community for Russians who fled to America after the Revolution of 1917. The village was created by two Russian writers, Count Ilya Tolstoy, the son of Leo Tolstoy, and the famous Siberian novelist George Grebenstchikoff.

Although Tolstoy was first to discover the area while visiting his translator in Southbury, it was Grebenstchikoff who dreamed of establishing a cultural center and actively planned to create a rural haven where Russian writers, artists, musicians and scientists could live and flourish.

Some other better known names connected with Churaevka are Igor Sikorsky, helicopter inventor; Sergei Rachmaninoff, composer; Michael Chekhov, actor; Baron Leo von Nolde, writer; Nicholas Roerich, philosopher and painter; and many other prominent figures in the world of art, literature and music.

The village was named after a mythical Siberian village mentioned in the works of Grebenstchikoff. Churaevka Village is still the name that appears on all property deeds. In later years it has come to be referred to as “Russian Village.”

The main building in the village is the chapel which was designed by Nicholas Roerich. Commissioned
Russian Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, January 23, 2010
2. Russian Village Marker
Behind the marker is the St. Sergius Chapel, built in 1932-33.
by George Grebenstchikoff and financed with generous contributions by Igor Sikorsky, it was built in 1932 – 33 with labor volunteered by village residents, including a skilled stone mason named Ivan Wassileff. The chapel is dedicated to one of the most venerated saints of Russia, St. Sergius, who kept Christianity alive after the Tartan invasion of the 14th century. It is also meant to be a memorial to the Cathedral of Our Savior which was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931.

An important feature of the village was the Alatas Print Shop. The print shop acted as a publishing house to foster the dissemination of Russian culture. Grebenstchikoff used the Alatas Print Shop to publish the works of several Russian authors, as well as his own books. The building still stands, but is no longer in use.
 
Location. 41° 26.915′ N, 73° 15.057′ W. Marker is in Southbury, Connecticut, in New Haven County. Marker is on Russian Village Road 0.1 miles west of Ichabod Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Southbury CT 06488, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Where Rochambeau Crossed the Housatonic River (approx. 0.7 miles away); South Britain Congregational Church (approx.
The St. Sergius Chapel in Russian Village image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, January 23, 2010
3. The St. Sergius Chapel in Russian Village
1.6 miles away); Southbury World War II Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Southbury World War I Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Southbury Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Southbury (approx. 1.9 miles away); Bullet Hill School (approx. 3 miles away); In Commemoration (approx. 3.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Southbury.
 
Regarding Russian Village. Russian Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 8, 1988. The homes in the village are privately owned and not open to the public.
 
Additional comments.
1. george grebenstchikoff
This comment is for Michael Herrick:
relative of George Grebenstchikoff in Russia would like to contact you. She was born in Siberian part of Russia.Her mother's maden name Grebenstchikov.
I am her friend in PA.
Thank you. Natalia Denikina Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
Russian Village Historic District Sign image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, January 23, 2010
4. Russian Village Historic District Sign
Churaevka Village
National Register
Historic District
Settled 1923
    — Submitted January 9, 2011, by Natalia M.Denikina of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
Russian Village Historic District Sign image. Click for full size.
By Michael Herrick, January 23, 2010
5. Russian Village Historic District Sign
Churaevka Village
National Register
Historic District
Settled 1923
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 24, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 2,663 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 24, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photograph of the Alatas Print Shop, if still standing. • Can you help?
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