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Russia OH

Russia, OH

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Russia (pronounced /ruːʃiː/) is a village in Loramie Township, Shelby County, Ohio, United States. The population was 551 at the 2000 census.
Russia was founded by Lewis Phillips, who purchased and platted the land where the village now sits. Phillips' house, built in 1853, was the first house in Russia; other settlers followed by the late 1850s. Phillips was also the first businessman in the village, opening a grocery store in 1853. Later settlers soon founded a dry goods store and multiple sawmills; Russia's economy was once heavily dependent on its sawmills. The earliest settlers were Frenchmen who had formerly lived in the Russian Empire; they named the village "Russia" because it lay in countryside that resembled the lands of their former home.:365
Russia was established in an area that was already predominately French. In the early part of the nineteenth century, a large number of emigrants from Alsace, Lorraine, and other parts of France settled in southwestern Shelby County and the adjacent portions of northeastern Darke County. Besides Russia, these immigrants founded the communities of Frenchtown and Versailles. By the middle of the 1850s, the heavily Roman Catholic population had grown to the point that multiple parishes were established in the area. A log church was built and dedicated to Saint Remigius, the patron saint of France, and Mass was first celebrated there on June 15, 1854. The congregation soon outgrew its building and constructed a new brick church; when it became too small, a larger brick church was constructed and completed in 1892.:367 Today, St. Remy's Catholic Church dominates Russia's skyline. The village is one of many small communities in a heavily Catholic region of western Ohio known as the "Land of the Cross-Tipped Churches".

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