(former Schwarzort or Schattenort)
For the first time Juodkrante was mentioned in the tax records in 1429, though then it was closer to the sea and approximately 2,5 km to the north from its present location. Fourteen fishermen families, two part-time fishermen and two lodger families lived there in 1539. Due to life difficulties, poverty and threat of moving sand, people were leaving the place. Only 6 lodger families lived there in 1593. In 1599 and 1600 the village tthat consisted of 13 farmsteads was almost buried with the sand. The plague took many lives in 1603. Only 6 huts still had some inhabitants. Invasion of sand didn’t stop and the Juodkrante village at the seaside was mentioned the last time in 1724.
State forest warden Hans Reinish got permission to set up an inn at the road in 1669 and to settle several fishermen families next to it in 1682. It was the birth of Juodkrante also known as OOld Juodkrante. Russian occupation slowed down its further development. Seven households were occupied there in 1784. Residents of buried Karvaiciai village settled south from present Juodkrante about 1794. They called it New Karvaiciai. The church from the old Karvaiciai was bbrought in 1794. After the last Karvaiciai preacher left the new place, people started to call it Juodkrante Church. The new settlement, which appeared next to it in 1814, was called „Juodkrante at the Church“. When the old praying house burned in 1878, it was replaced with a new red brick church in 1885.
In the 19th century, Naujieji Karvaiciai, Juodkrante at the Church and the Old Juodkrante settlements grew into one village. However, local residents recognised them as separate parts until 1945. These three old parts of Juodkrante still can be recognised in the present village plan.
The growing resort and amber excavation company „W. Stantien & M. Becker“ had essential impact to the development of the village in tthe second half of the 19th century. As a resort Juodkrante became famous in 1840. The first steamboats from Klaipeda arrived in 1858. When the embankment was finished other steamboat routes from Tilze and Krantas were set up. For solving recreational issues, the Resort Committee was established in 1881. The most important persons to Juodkrante development were hotel owners Edward and Lui Stellmachers, and also resort commissioner Rudolf Werner.
In 1855, 1860 and 1861, when dredgers were deepening the lagoon wwaterway, the first samples of amber were found near Juodkrante. It drew the attention of two businessmen W. Stantien and M. Becker. They obtained ...