Settlement in Warta River valley
In the second half of the 18th century the area of Warta River valley was nearly uninhabited. The settlement concentrated outside the spacious swamps. Simultaneously with the regulation and melioration appeared a plan to settle this area. The initiator of this action was Frideric the Great and its contractor was F.B Brenkenhoff. The settlements lasted between 1767 and 1782.
The local settlers were called Olenders. They received a broad support: wood for hous construction, tax exemption for few years, military service exemption for settles and their children. In exchange, they should continue the melioration works consisting of repairing levees, digging melioration ditches, grubbing trees, and taking care of meadows and pastures. Live of the settlers was tough. Often there was not enough food for people as well as animals. One of the legends says these were the reasons why the farmers asked Frideric for permission to emigrate to America. Hearing this request, indignant king should have responded: “I will give you New America and freedom at Warta”. The new villages were given exotic names like: Nowy Jork, Pensylwania, Sumatra. Until after 1945 the Commission for the Determination of Place Names on the so called “regained terrains” (western Poland) changed these names for Polish like ones.