Rusnė is the only town in Lithuania which is settled in the island. The island is in the estuary of Nemunas between Skirvytė and Atmata rivers. Town is separated from Russia only by a Skirvytė River and the only road to the island is the bridge over the Atmata River.
Village is first mentioned in XV century. In 1419 the first church was built here, in 1448 pub was opened in Rusne.
During 1923 - 1939 Rusnė was a center of area and of the parish. Here was a fish factory, lumber factory, custom, border police post, court house, folk school, market, 5 restaurants, 14 shops and a doctor and dentist worked in Rusnė.
In 1952 a school for deaf and mute students was opened in Rusnė. It was reorganized into a special boarding school in 1961.
From the Second World War till 1974 Rusnė lived without a bridge, because when German was retreating, they blew up it. Russians some why didn’t rebuild the bridge, they just dismantled the remaining. There is a story, that somebody sold the metal constructions of the bridge and bought a Pobieda (Russian car).