Zadne-Nikiforovskaya poustinia of Olonets Uyezd of Olonets Guberniya

On the St.Petersburg post road, 100 versts from Petrozavodsk and 50 from Olonets, on the 7th verst from the Keskozero station, a lonely wooden chapel stands at the very edge of the forest, pointing the way to Zadne-Nikiforovskaya poustinia…

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Neighborhood, teeming with coniferous forests, lakes and swamps, represents a quite hilly terrain with sandy and rocky soil, and in marshy lowlands – overgrown with moss and rich in peat. Rye, oats and barley is sown here primarily on a scorched assarts and hill slopes. Minor hay mowings in the valleys of rivers and lakes are quite scarce with grass.

Often, there are empty barren hills, that are dismal grey-brown picture of dry moss or intertwining dense stumpy bushes, partly scorched out for planting. General lack of fodder necessitates an enhanced work on ground development for an arabling and draining the swamps with a network of drainage ditches and grass cultivation, which is almost imperceptible in agricultural practice of the local Korela population.

There are a plenty of Korela people, especially women and children, who can not even understand and speak Russian. It is considerably facilitated by the vastness of a distance between settlements, the obstruction of the great forests and swamps and the lack of communications. And the consequent immobility and aloofness of the locals with the availability of natural resources, inaccessible or hidden in the bowels of the ground, are responsible for the absence of culture and industry and poverty of Olonets land.

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Petr Yagodkin
Olonets Eparchy Vedomosty, N12, 1901.

Translated by Ilya Kuznetsov, 2013