Starina Reservoir Village Evacuations
(Starinska vodna nadrz)
Reservoir Looking South, 2003
Seven villages along and near the northern reaches of the Cirocha River, near the Poland border ceased to exist in 1980 after the construction of the Starina dam and reservoir. Most of the residents moved either to Snina or the city of Humenne and environs. These villages include [Slovak(Magyar)]: Ostroznica (Osztroznica), Smolnik (Zemplen Szomolnak), Velka Polana/Polana (Nagy Polena), Starina (Sztarina, Cirokaofalu), Dara (Dara, Dare), Ruske (Oroszruszka, Zemplenoroszi) and Zvala (Zuella). Many original roads still exist along these old byways, but are closed and limited to foot traffic. Uniquely, the church from Dara remains standing, but appears unused (2001). If these are your villages, I have 1914 and a 1937 1:75,000 maps of these villages that I would be pleased to send along to you.
Many of these villages are now a part of the Poloniny National Park and East Carpathian Biosphere.
These villages were incorporated into the township of Stakčín on the following dates:
You will not find these villages on contemporary maps. I have noted in red on the Slovakia Villages page map the general location of each village.
Church Records at the LDS
Due to village closures and the communist shutdowns, the following table describes where the church records for each village are filed in the Presov State Archives. These archives were filmed by the Mormons and you can find village church records filed accordingly. Thanks to Vladimir Bohnic for providing this information.
It is interesting to note that while the majority of these villages' population was Rusyn, the whereabouts of the many Greek Catholic records is uncertain. The SR archives indicates the Roman Catholic records are stored with Snina records. It's possible however that there was an indexing error.
Photo Gallery Credit: Mick Sura unless otherwise noted
Rusyns - Lost Homes - A picture essay of the land of the seven villages cleared to make way for the Starina Reservoir. (2006)
(1) Reported by Gloria Kurbanick, 2009
(2) Mick Sura reports that no Velka Polana church records will be found in the Slovak State archives. However records from 1821-1881 Can be found in the Zemplen regional archive in Satoraljaujhely (Hungary).
Last Update: 24 January 2010