Created: 2 March 2005
Modified: 14 March 2005
The village of Jokubavas is located in the southern part of Kretinga county at the crossroads Gargzdai-Kretinga, Klaipeda-Jokubavas highways. Kretinga is 9 km to the north, Klaipeda 20 km to the west, Gargzdai 13 km to the south and the Minija river flows 2 km to the east.
At the center of the village located at the northeast corner of the crossroads are a monument and park dedicated to the first constitutional president of Lithuania, Aleksandras Stulginskis. A primary school, named after the former president, is located in the southwest corner. Further to the northeast one would find the church and village cemetery. The post office, medical office, cultural center, and library are located on the west side of the village.
The current population of the village is 505; most adults are gainfully employed.
A village community organization was established March 23, 2003. it helps unify the community and works for the welfare of village residents assisting in representation at the local, regional, and national levels.
The start of the village was at the hamlet of Bebrunas located near Bebrunas creek. According to the archealogist I. Jablonskis this area was inhabited 2000 years ago.
In the 16th century the locale was a border area between Lithuania and the Klaipeda region. One of the major roads between Lithuania and the Baltic sea as well as the curonian lagoon ran thru the area, increasing the local population.
The hamlet of Bebrunas was a part of the Mishutis estate, overseen by the Sapiega family. Around 1766 the hamlet of Bebrunas along with the surrounding land was sold by Ona Sapiegiene-Masalskis to Jokubavas Nagurskis. He established the village of Jokubavasin the name of his patron saint. In 1777 Jokubavas received the right to hold a market and the village began to assert its independence from the Masaitis estate. A tavern was established, a secure warehouse was built, and the market fluorished. A wooden church named after St. Cajetan was built in1797 and nearby an old folks rest home was established in 1793.
In the 1870`s Jokubavas was overseen by the Parciauskas clan. After the father Constantine passed the land was divided between the brothers Vincent and Karl. Vincent remained in the center of the village but Karl (a physician) built a structure from 1000 logs in Stoncius, where he established a “lazerata” (hospice). Dr. Karl also worked at the hospital in Klaipeda. Duting the time of the Parciauskas family influence a strong agricultural base was established with a 600 tree apple orchard.
In 1927 the main farm was purchased by former president Aleksandras Stulginskis who was a trained agronomist. He brought in the latest agricultural techniques and established a model farm. During Lithuania`s first independence Jokubavas had an active dairy, sawmill, shops (primarily owned by Lithuanian Jews-Jokubavas had a thriving Jewish minority), a branch of the Kretinga consumers cooperative and a public grammar school. Social groups such as the “pavasarininkai”, temperance union, and homeguard were active. A synagogue also was established. According to the 1923 census 78 individuals lived in the main village with an additional 197 people in surrounding homesteads.
In 1941 Aleksandras Stulginskis and Karl Paciauskas along with their wives were deported to Siberia by the Soviet occupiers. During WWII the church and school were lost in a fire and the synagogue was demolished. The estate manor house was destroyed in the 1980`s. In its place now stands a monument to Aleksandras Stulginskis along with a surrounding park.
In 1959 the population of Jokubavas was 217, 1985-448, 2003-505.
At the current time the village has a school, cultural center, library, church, post office, medical office, four stores (including a branch of the Kretinga consumers cooperative) and a farm equipment supply post.