"Kratzke, Russia"

By Michael Boss

Gouache on Board

12"x16"

From the collection of Ruth Schultz, Wheat Ridge, Colorado

The area known as Kratzke was first settled by the German emigrants August 7th, 1767.  Kratzke was assigned to the parish in Dietel just a few miles to the west. 

The first church was constructed in 1826.  Carl Jacob Frueauf was the Lutheran minister there from 1801-1815.  He was the Great-Great-Great Grandfather of the owner of the painting, Ruth Schultz. 

This church was replaced in 1899.  The second church was a bit different in architectural style.  The transept was at the front of the church, neither near the center nor toward the altar as the other Kontor style buildings. 

Today, in stark contrast, destruction and deterioration have reduced the magnificent structure to the granary seen here.