A page out of history
The Gniewino Commune lies in the northern part of the Pomeranian Voivodship. Ethnically this is a region of North Kashubia while as far as administrative division goes it belongs to the Wejherowski County. For centuries this area was connected to the land of Lębork.
During the era of the Dutchy of Pomerania Salino, which lies on the route connecting Gdansk to Słupsk, was the center of this region. The saliński hill fort was destroyed in the second half of the XIV century by a Gdansk leader of the Teutonic Knights who later formed the lęborski county which stretched between the valley of Piasnica and Lake Żarnowieckie. The order of the Teutonic Knights ruled until the Peace treaty of Toruń which ended the Thirty years' War (1454-1466). It was then that this area was returned to Poland. However, soon after King Kazimierz Jagiellończyk granted a fiefdom on this land to the West Pomeranian Prince Eric the Second. After the end of this dynasty, on the basis of the welawsko-bydgoskie Treaty (1657), the land of Lębork passed into the feudal ownership of the Brandeburgian elector Frederick William. Because of this Poland lost the right to this area for many centuries.
Due to the complicated history of this land not many of the native families - the Kashubs and Germans, have survived. After the exodus of the latter, starting from the year 1945, a lot of Poles from central Poland migrated here. Many Ukrainians and Lemeks were relocated to this part of Poland during the infamous "Wisła" (Vistula) action. The characteristic to this region great estates of the gentry were nationalized at the end of 1940s and collecitve farms were created to take their place.
The rural revival of the area around Gniewino took place in the 1970s when the Żarnowiec water power plant began to be built. The investment policy of the local authorities as well as the uncompleted construction of the nuclear power plant caused dynamic development of the commune in many spheres. At present the commune is one of the richest and most modern in the area as well as being one of the most dynamic communes in Poladn. Today Gniewino is focusing on tourism.
Founded In 1377 Bychowo lies on the banks of a stream named after the village. It was owned by the Bychowska family - a family of knights - for a few centuries. In the XVI century - Von Buchow of the Zadora Coat of Arms settled here. Together with Perlin, Bychowo became one estate under the rule of the next family - the von Lubtows. The manor house which stands here (built in the second half of the XIXth century by Sydows) was reconstructed on the basis of photographs by the present owners in the 1990s.
The first reference to this village was made in 1383. Chynowie was founded by the Teutonic Knights at the end of the XIVth century. In documents it is referred to, since 1490, as the main estate of the Chynowscy family, one of the richest families of the land of Lębork and Bytów. The XVIIth century palace is a remainder of the past. It was built by the Rexins and enlarged by Emil Blocha during the 1920s
The palace is surrounded by a complex of farmhouses complete with a XIXth century distillery and forge and a park which leads into a forest.
This is one of the best recognised settlements of the so called Pomeranian culture (650-400 b.c.) in Poland. It was here that over 600 archeological objects of different sort were discovered. These include: the outline of the foundations of a hut, ovens, storage pits, hearths. Also fragments of ceramic tiles and metal objects were found together with a small amount of osteologic material which shows that the main occupation of the inhabitants of this area was animal and organic farming.
Apart from the period dominated by the Pomeranian culture, the area belonging to the village was most intensively settled in the Middle Ages. This village was so important during that period that it was referred to in written sources as a knights settlement. The first reference to this village, which lies at the foot of a hill on the north bank of Lake Żarnowieckie, was made in 1410. The owners were then the above mentioned Bychowscy family. It passed into the hands of the Kolkowscy family at the beginning of the XVIIIth century. The village changed in the XXth century when the Żarnowiec water power plant was built
Dąbrówka (Dąbrówka Mała)
It is an old animal farm which dates back to the XVth century. The village has spread out into the Wierzchucińska Forest and lies only 2km from Lake Czarne on the banks of Lake Dąbrze. The latter came into being at the beginning of the last century forming in the trought of an old gravel pit which existed here in the XIXth century.
Its history is connected to that of the order of cisters from Żarnowiec which were given this settlement from Marcin Roppke in 1476. During the period of reformation the order was forced to give up their wealth and in the middle of the XVIth century it passed into the hands of the Wejherowie, one of the most important families of knights in the Land of Lębork, the founders of Wejherowo - the capital of the County. In the XVIIth century Gniewino became part of the estate belonging to the Rexins. The real development of the village began at the beginning of the XXth century. Since the middle of the XXth century it is the seat of the local council. The huge investments made near Lake Żarnowieckie caused the village to develop even more dynamically especially over the last 25 years.
It is one of the very few villages which, having belonged to the Germans before the war, has a catholic church - the Church of Saint Ottona (1933). Sources state that the oldest family in Kostkowo were the Przebendowscy. In 1902 or 1903 Prussian authorities established a primary school in the village. Each child attended the school for eight years. In 1931 a railway was built in Kostkowo, which during the war was for the private use of the occupant. The highest upsweep of the Salińska Kępa (rising 123,3 meters above sea level) lies near the village.
In documents from the XIVth century one reads that Lisewo was a gentry estate which originally belonged to the Lisewscy family. Since 1575 it has been divided between two families - the Dzięcielewscy and Jackowscy. At the beginning of the XVIIth century Lisewo was joined with Jęczew. In 1784 Lisewo was made up of seven houses, one farmhouse, two paddocks, the "suburb" Kostkowo and a fish-breeding pond. During the 1970s J. Zielcke, the owner at the time, built a new manor house together with an adjacent park and farm. This new manor house was located south- east of the village. The railway between Wejherowo-Choczewo, which was built at the beginning of the XIXth century, separated Lisewo from the estate.
In various books from the year 1408 it is referred to as Cleyn Mirsyn (Małe Mierzyno). The village lies on the east bank of Lake Salińskie. In the XVIIth century it belonged to the Łętowscy family then to the von Machs, only to pass into the hands of the Bloch family in 1911. Old farmhouses from the beginning of the XXth century and the XIXth century manor house and park still exist.
The first reference to the village was made in 1379. During the XVIth and - XVIIth century Mierzyno belonged to many noble families. In the Middle of the XVIIth century Mierzyno was made up of two parts both belonging to the von Tavezin family. From 1787 it belonged to the Dziezelscy family, the owners being successively Adolf von Dziezelsky (1814-1877) and then his son John.
This village is traditionally a fishing village and tourist spot. It lies at the foot of a number of hills which fall into the west bank of Lake Żarnowieckie. It belonged to knights as early as the beginning of the XIVth century. In 1375 the order of cisters from Żarnowiec bought this land. When estates belonging to the church were confiscated the status of Nadole changed. It became the property of the King and answered to the administration in Starzyno. At the End of World War I, on the basis of the Paris Settlement, Nadole and half of the Lake was to belong to the Germans. Only after a great amount of effort Nadole once again became a part of Poland in the year 1920, connected to the country only by the lake. Therefore, to get to the Polish catholic parish the people of Nadole had to swim across the lake in boats. A reminder of that period is the pilgrimage made cross water and land which takes place every year on the last Sunday in July (Indulgence of Saint Anna).
The oldest data found describes Opalino as belonging to knights, according to Polish law of the Puck district, according to Polish law. In 1425 Opalino, together with the laws of Chełm, was given to steward Matzke by the Teutonic Knights. About the year 1590 part of the estate was bought by the Kolkowscy family. In 1642 the estate was divided between the Kolkowscy and Chynowscy families. In 1716 the village passed into the hands of Opalińscy and then into the hands of Discezelscy. In 1776 r. the estate had six owners and from the year 1836 till the end of the Second World War Opalino belonged to the von Strehlke family, under the rule of which the estate flourished. Towards the end of the XIXth century and at the beginning of the XXth century many farm buildings were built. In 1868 Opalino had a population of 188 and was made up of 16 houses covering an area of 658 hectors.
In a document from the year 1463 the name Perlow appears. This was land owned by knights. In 1457 three cousins of the Perlow family were given this village by Prince Eric. As lustration from the year 1579 shows, a Barnim promised the estate to Jacub Puttkamer if George Perlow, the last of the Perlow family, died without heir.
It is yet another village in this part of Poland the beginnings of which go back to the era of the Teutonic Knights (the first reference was made in 1381) The owners of the village, beginning from the XVth century, were as follows: Rybińscy, Bonin-Suliccy, Przebendowscy. The estate was divided in 1945 and a XIXth century manor house with farm buildings is all that is left of the estate today.
According to information dating back to the end of the XIXth century Rybienko was a village belonging to the commune with a population of 374. During the era of the Teutonic Knights Rybienko was a Polish feudal estate. The village was also called Reyben and then Mały Reiben (Little Reiben).
It is the oldest village of the commune. It lies on the banks of a Lake that goes by the same name. On the island situated there, in the XIIth century there stood a stronghold, which answered to the main stronghold in Białogard. In 1268 the Pomeranian Prince Warcisław the Second gave the Salino estate to the order of cisters from Bukowo In turn, in 1344 the Grand Prior of the Teutonic Knights gave the village and parsonage to the Saint Ghost Hospital in Gdansk. At the end of the next century the land was unlawfully taken over by Warzyniec Krokowski, known as The Strong. A trial which followed, ending in 1517, settled that the village should be returned to the church. The Rexin family (owners of the village from the XVIIth century on) strongly influence the history of Salino, leaving behind a manor house and family mausoleum at the cemetery.
According to information from the end of the XIXth century Salinko was a commune with a population of 123 and 50 residencies in the Salinko area. In 1344, when Salino was given to the Hospital of St Elisabeth, in the donation document it was written: „Little Salino is our land" which meant that Salino was and should still remain in the hands of the Teutonic Knights. In 1437 Salinko was enumerated as one of the Polish villages. Between the years 1591 and 1621 Salinko came to be owned by the Chynowscy family. In 1756 it passed into the hands of the Rexin family.
The oldest data about the families living here comes from the XVIth and XVIIth century. In 1628 the family fortune was passed to Slaschow; the Slaschow fortune was divided many times - in 1755 the village was divided into 10 parts. Since 1902 it belonged to the national treasury and was tenanted by Strehlk.
According to the oldest records Strzebielinko was owned by knights. It was originally a part of the district of Puck and belonged to the Przebendowscy family. In 1756 the estate was bought from the Przebendowscy by the Rexin family (a Kashubian noble family from the land of Lębork). Between the years of 1823 and 1827 the estate passed into the hands of Friedrich Krüger. Later, between the years of 1839 and 1841, Strzebielinko was owned by Major von Brzezowskego, who sold it to Major von Hakenbeck. In 1873 the estate was known under the name of Friedrichsrode. In 1902 the population of the village was made up of: 58 Germans and 44 Poles, and the owner, till the Second World War, was Bruno von Zelewski-Hakenbeck, who equipped the farm with new equipment.
According to information from the end of the XIXthe century Tadzino was a village in the commune of Gniewino with a population of 83. This village, which was a former gentry estate, had also been called Thatt or Dott. Both of these names, however, have died out. Later it was joined to the estate complex of the von Chinows (Chynowscy).
The manor of Toliszczek has been known since 1810. It was then that the nobleman von Kurowski, the owner of Prusiew, Strzebielinek i Brzyn made a deal with the forest ranger Hüllnerem that two parcels of land, one named Heideland and the other belonging to the area of Prusiew, were to be joined. The estate that was formed was given to Hüllner on perpetual lease basis. At the beginning of the 1870s the estate had two owners. On the basis of a decision made by the authorities of the county in the year 1873, part of the wealth, owned then by the Lützow family, was given a status of an independent estate, while the other part was attached to Strzeblinek. During the Second World War there was a temporary war camp in Toliszczek.
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