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Pitkäranta

For the first time Pitkäranta (Long Beach in translation from Finnish) was mentioned in tax census book of Great Novgorod Veps region for the years 1499-1500 as "The village on the Ladoga lake Long Beach". At that time Pitkäranta was a part of Nikolo-Serdobol circuit of Korela district, and its households partly belonged to Kerisyrjä, partly to Saari settlements.

During Swedish sway Pitkäranta, according to Kexholm len Land Book of 1650, was part of Impilahta kapella of Serdobol circuit. In XVII century it became a part of new Suistamo circuit.

In 1499-1500 there were only 3 households and 30 inhabitants in Pitkäranta. By 1638 there became 7 households and 50 inhabitants, but by 1681 again only 5 households and 30 inhabitants.

After Swedish defeat in the Northern War in 1721, Vyborg and Ladoga Karelia (so-called Old Finnland) became part of Russia and formed new Vyborg gubernia (province). During the times of Ekatherina I Pitkäranta belonged to cortier Count Bruken. In 1727 it became crown land, in 1730-1764 belonged to Aleksandro-Nevsky monastery, in 1764-1797 was under Imperial Economy Collegium rule and after that was again returned to Crown lands.

In 1785 academician N.Ozeretskovsky visited Pitkäranta during his jorney on Karelia and has written in his book "Travelling by Ladoga and Onego lakes": "Pitkjaranta village is also called Dolgiy Bereg (Long beach) in Russian as after it a flat even and mostly straight beach goes round all the Eastern part of Ladoga Lake down to Neva River source. After Pitkjaranta the high rocky mountains that surround the lake from Keksholm to Dolgy Bereg end; there is also an end to bays that so often met in this mountainous region and mountains that surround the lake from Keksholm to Dolgy Bereg end; there is also an end to bays that so often met in this mountainous region and rocky islands that flood the Northern part of the lake. From Pitkjaranta the shore and the lake itself taketh quite a different appearance."

In 1810 an expedition led by Mining Corps captain Furman explored the bosoms nearby Pitkäranta, without much success, to be truth.

In 1811 Vyborg gubernia was transferred to the Autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, that itself became a part of Russian Empire.

Practical exploitation of Pitkäranta bosoms started in 1814 on Alasuomäki Mountain, but several attempt of primitive mining were of not much use.

In 1832 a first copper mine was built on Alasuomäki Mountain. In the mouth of Kelioja brook was build the copper mill. A competing Alasavotta mill was build nearby.

Apart for copper, tin ores were found. In 1842 small tin mill was build in the mouth of Koirinoja brook. The dam was build right over the waterfall and two chutes led the water to the dressing mills.

With the building of metals mills Pitkäranta, uniting the old village and small miner's settlement, became a relatively big settlement. New Orthodox Ascension church was build.

Geologist S.Kutorga wrote in his "Guide on Ladoga Finnish shore" (1851): "Eight mines are built on this deposits. They are sheltered from rains and snows with wooden huts, were manual and horse-drawn water and ore lifts are set."

For the first years ore and metals from Pitkäranta were sent by roads. From the 1850-s they were delivered by steamers in summer and by winter roads through Sortavala and Kexholm in winter.

By the middle of XIX century all Pitkäranta mines and mills became the property of Pitkäranta-Company based in St-Petersburg. To ensure the mills water power supply there was made an unsuccessful attempt to build a channel from Nietäjärvi Lake and Kelioja brook. Later on the mills were closed due to insufficient water power supply.

In 1860 two steam tin ore mills were build. Both were built close to the mines.

Hydrographer A.Andreev wrote in his work "Ladoga lake" (1875): "Pitkäranta mines go down for more than 200 feet what is about 160 feet lower than the lake level ... The workers in the mines are Finns. They are working in two shifts days and nights ... Nearby the mine there stands the building where a lot of boys breaks the ore into small pieces and sorts them ... Pitkäranta mills gave food to up to 2000 workers and their families, but work is unstable and sometimes there worked only tenth part of the number."

In the miners settlement nearby "Red Gligka" mine (the western part of Pitkäranta) on the shore of Ladoga Lake there were built 24 wooden barracks housing 1000 workers. Close to that, in the miners part of Pitkäranta stand the supervisor and his deputy houses, priest house, The Orthodox church and several miners houses.

In 1877 Russian traveler A.Eliseev visited Pitkäranta. In his book "Wandering in the world" he wrote: "At the time we visited Pitkjaranda copper and tin mines were working intensively. Hundreds of workers dug on in the deep mines. Our descend to the main tin mine depthing to more than 120 feet was not very successful - we slipped down rather than walked down the slippery stair, but without any serious injury ... When we reached main gallery with our lamps in hands, we spent a lot of time wandering around the mine. Its greenish walls sparkled, reflecting multitude of the lamps of the workers that dug the tin ore. Slight splashes of the small water jet in one of the galleries was dumped by the knocking of the hammers and voices of the workers that were preparing a dig-hole for explosion mine. The latter blasted so unexpectedly, that we thought that all the gallery is going down and we will remain underground forever."

By the beginning of 80-s of XIX century there were a two-year school in Pitkäranta. The first class was for pupils up to 11, the second - for 8-13 years old. In different years 30-50 pupils studied there. There were two teachers in the school.

Apart from tin and copper mills there was also sulfate works in Pitkäranta. Red paint was produced from the mills by-product - iron oxide. Most of Finnish wooden houses at that time were painted by Pitkäranta paint.

In 1887 there was build a glass factory, producing up to 10 000 000 bottles a year. It has four Siemens furnaces - two of them worked continuously and two - from time to time.

In the end of XIX century two tow-steamers and around twenty barges carryed off Pitkäranta production by Ladoga lake.

By the end of the 80-s main product were copper and tin. In 90-s the first place was overtaken by iron mining and production of cast-iron. In 1897 a cast-iron mill was built in Masuuni, on the Ladoga shore.

Mining was active till 1904, when it was stopped because of low profitability.

Iron mining, based on new technologies, was revived in 1914 by Ristiniemi company. These mines worked till the beginning of 1950-s. Mines were situated in Lupikko, some 10-15 kilometers from Pitkäranta.

Six-lines saw mill worked at Nurminsaari Island.

Diesen Wood Oy built a pulp mill on Pusunsaari Island and bought the saw mill. Production started in 1921. Before the railway was built the goods were carried by water by Ladoga Lake and Neva River at summer and by horses to Sortavala and Lahdenpohja in winter.

In 1929 a three-storey office building of Diesen Wood Oy was built.

In 30-s cellulose plant was reconstructed and new, most up-to-date equipment was installed.

In 1932 the first train came to Pitkäranta by the new 43-km railway branch from Läskelä. In 1933 the railway went further on - to Alaluuksu.

Map By the beginning of the Second World War the town was mainly wooden. In it's most western part (along Sortavala road), called Toikkasenkylä a Finnish Salmi border detachment headquarters with barracks and stadium was placed.

Next part along the road was called Peräkylä. It is the oldest part of the town. It was occupied by farmers. In this part there were also a school and a shop. Peräkylä boarded with Rannankylä and Petäjäkylä parts.

In Rannakylä there were passenger and cargo railway stations, Russian school, wharf, trading center, post office, drugstore and a department of People's Bank.

Petäjäkylä began from Market Square. Orthodox church, school and city stadium were also in this part.

Risteys. In this part of the town there were Suoeluskunta (Finnish Army support organization) building and casino.

North-east part of the town was called Pervoi, possibly after the first mine. Its most remarkable place was Rukoushuone - a Lutheran praying-room placed it the former mine's lift machine-room. On the shore of Kukkaronlahti Bay there was a cellulose plant's hospital.

In the beginning of The Winter War Pitkäranta was almost totally burned out. Only pulp mill and adjoining to it living quarters on Pusunsaari Island were untouched. Also survived wooden Ascension Orthodox church and some brick buildings in the main part of the town.

Soviets took Pitkäranta in December 10-th 1939 and according to March 12-th Treaty Pitkäranta, as all other Ladoga Karelia, became Soviet territory. Pitkäranta district was created in June 9-th 1940 with the town of Pitkäranta as it's center.

In July 16-th 1941 Finnish army returned Pitkäranta and left it after stubborn fighting in the evening of July 11-th 1944. According to 1947 Paris Peace Treaty Pitkäranta again became Soviet.

In June 1947 pulp production started again.

In May 23-th 1957 Pitkäranta district was abolished and its territory was divided between Sortavala and Olinets districts.

Pitkäranta district was reestablished in December 28-th 1966

Wooden Pusunsaari part of the town, survived during the war, was destroyed in the 1970-s with the expansion of industry zone.

The only fully preserved pre-war building is the building of the former drag-store (also called Wallden's house, built in the end of 1920's), occupied now by the Museum of Study of Local Lore.

In February 22-nd 1998 the new wooden Lutheran church building was consecrated. It was build mainly on the money sent from Finnish town Kuopio.


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Materials gathered by P.Il'inIn were used in preparation of this page.
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