Tourist Sights Cossack Community of New Kuban in New Jersey

About the unique tourist sight The Cossack Community of New Kuban in Buena, New Jersey, location, history and description of the site.




Sight: The Cossack Community of New Kuban.

A trip through southern New Jersey can bring you to the small Cossack settlement of New Kuban. As you near the town, you'll notice such names as Polupanow, Ponochovny, and Nazarova on roadside mailboxes. The houses themselves are obscured behind rows of oak trees. New Kuban was established when the Cossack supporters of the Russian czars were forced to flee their home country after the downfall of the monarchy in 1917. Today's residents live in semi-isolation, most speaking only Russian, in an attempt to preserve the heritage of their ancestors. Just off the main road is the one-man monastery of Father Adams, a gentle man with a long white beard and flowing black robe who welcomes all visitors cordially. He speaks only Russian, but if an English-speaking neighbor happens by, he'll probably be happy to act as an interpreter. Father Adams's colorful monastery includes discarded pet food containers used as candleholders and wall paintings executed by two Greenwich Village artists. The real landmark of the community, however, is the Russian Orthodox Church with its Slavic spire and gold Russian cross. In the church cemetery you'll see headstones with Russian inscriptions bearing pictures of the deceased. One of the most prized possessions in the village is the small box of Russian soil kept in an honored position on the church altar. Weekly services, which last from two to three hours, begin about 9:00 A.M. each Sunday. Members of the congregation remain standing throughout the entire service, but visitors may sit in the back of the church. Though only Russian is spoken, the candle-lit service and stirring music comprise a memorable experience.

Location: Head north from the center of Buena on State Route 54 for 2 mi. After passing a Sunoco station on the right, turn right at the next intersection on black-topped Weymouth Road. New Kuban is 1 mi ahead.

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