Last modified: 2011-05-14 by andrew weeks
Keywords: nowe skalmierzyce |
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The first mention of Skalmierzyce appeared in 1357 during the reign
Kazimierz the Great. Already then a village called Scarbimierze existed.
Throughout centuries the name was changed many times only to receive its
present wording in 1827.
Between 14th and 18th century Skalmierzyce was a subsidised village of Gniezno rectors. In 1579 (as cited by sources) the settlement counted around 10 households, including an inn and a craftsman. Also a wooden church was there, which had a brick chapel added in 1621. A locally famous painting of the Virgin Mary was brought in here. In 1791 the wooden church was replaced by a brick one.
The lot of Skalmierzyce in the era of annexations varied. In 1793-1806 the village belonged to Prussia, in 1806-1813 to the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. Finally, as a result of resolutions by the Vienna Congress the village again found itself within the territory of Prussia, in the Great Duchy of Poznań, about 2 km from the Russian borderline. This status remained until 1914. At the end of 19th century, as mentioned in the census from 1889, the village comprised 120 households dwelled by over 950 people. Development of the trade with Russia supported extension of the new settlement around the Customs Office. Connection with the railway and construction of the station allowed for contacts with other towns.
The beginning of 20th century marked further flourishing of the local
business; it was the time of remarkable investment momentum. In 1904-1912
a new railway station was built here with warehouses and sidings accompanied
by a complex of railway houses. In 1908 the Germans administratively separated
a new place giving it the name of Neu Skalmier-schütz (Skalmierzyce Nowe).
It was supposed to be a German village. A German school, a police station
and a Protestant church functioned there. Further expansion of the Germans
was stopped by the outbreak of World War I. A lot of citizens of our village
took part in it. In autumn of 1918, when some Polish lands regained independence,
Greater Poland, including Skalmierzyce, still belonged to Germany. The
inhabitants of Skalmierzyce began to get ready for participation in Greater
Poland uprising. On December 27 fights began on the borderline between
Boczków and Szczypiorno (Jan Mertka was killed on Boczków battlefield).
Two days later insurgents took control of Skalmierzyce Nowe, disarming
a unit of German soldiers stationed there. An effective action was
possible due to heroic and selfless attitude of the soldiers from Skalmierzyce Company. Many of them took part in the uprising fights in other villages and towns of Greater Poland.
On regaining its independence, the picture of Skalmierzyce Nowe changed.
The village became Polish all through. The border traffic faded, which
caused decreased speed of life and a short economic stagnation. In the
1920's slow changes appeared. Between 1924 and 1925 a section of the railway
station was turned into a Carriage Repair Shop and a steam engine depot
was founded. In 1925 Skalmierzyce Nowe was separated from Skalmierzyce
parish and a Corpus Christi parish was established. In 1928 - 1930 the
school was extended; a new building came into using at Kaliska Street.
Scout units started active operations.
Statistics from 1935 mention that the collective municipality of Skalmierzyce Nowe, consisting of Skalmie-rzyce Nowe and over 20 villages, was inhabited by 10313 people.
After breakout of World War II, Skalmierzyce Nowe was directly incorporated in Germany. Many participants of Greater Poland uprising from 1918/1919 were taken away to concentration camps; most of them did not return. The school was turned into a provisional camp. In 1940 a citizen of Skalmierzyce Nowe, Franciszek Majnert, founded a secret operation of the National Unity Organisation to be incorporated into the National Army. Three years later the organisation was de-conspired, and its founder along with two other citizens of Skalmierzyce was murdered. In the same year, in Kaliska Street, a tragic catastrophe of a Halifax JD 154 occurred, which was about to take part in an airdrop action in Ołobok. The seven-man crew perished as well as three inhabitants of a house in Kaliska.
Skalmierzyce was liberated in January 1945. After the war the village
further developed. In the southwest quarter of Skalmierzyce Nowe, a detached
housing estate was built. The carriage repair shop got extended, which,
in 1950's, was transformed into Railroad Enterprise. On July 18, 1962 Skalmierzyce
Nowe obtained city rights. At the same time the name was changed into Nowe
Skalmierzyce. The town counted then 4,000 people. Soon, owing to fast traffic,
Nowe Skalmierzyce got a connection with Kalisz, in 1976 a Health Care Centre
was opened, a water supply system was installed and most streets got asphalt
finish. On 60th anniversary of the Greater Poland Uprising, in 1978, a
monument of Greater Poland Insurgents was unveiled. In 1975 the municipality
was established comprising the town and 29
villages. This structure maintained till the end of 1999.
As of January 1, 2000, based on the citizen initiative, the Government separated the villages of Dobrzec, Sulisławice and Kolonia Sulisławice to incorporate them within the administrative borders of Kalisz. (website)
Arms adopted in 1990 (resolution # VI/36/90).
Flag adopted on December 6, 2002 (resolution # II/5/02).
"Arms: two crosses formy of white color, two golden keys and the ball of blue color, all placed on the shield of beige (light brown) color.
In the inter-war years, the mother of one boy scout made him a badge with the image of the Arms as described in the oral tradition. It quickly became a symbol of the town.
Flag: rectangular blue piece of cloth in the ratio of 5:8 with the Arms
in its middle."
Chrystian Kretowicz, 20 Nov 2008