Tollmingkehmen was mentioned in the written sources in the 14th century. In 1589, it became a center of a parish. Many famous people worked in the parish including Christian Donalitius (since the 20th century also called Kristijonas Donelaitis), the author of the first Lithuanian poem The Seasons. Donalitius was the Lutheran pastor of the German and Lithuanian language inhabitants of Tollmingkehmen in eastern Prussia for 37 years. He built a new church which is now reconstructed into his memorial museum. Donalituis also built pianos, as well as thermometers and barometers.
It was an important cultural center in the Kingdom of Prussia's Lithuania Minor region and had a sizeable Prussian Lithuanian minority until the early 19th century, which fled during the last months of World War II or was expelled with the other inhabitants of East Prussia after 1945.