Topographic and statistical description of the border line of Petrozavodsk and Povenets uesds with Finland
IV. Settlements, industry, commerce.
The main settlements on the right side of the describable border are the towns Petrozavodsk and Povenets.
Petrozavodsk, the centre of the Olonets gubernia, is situated 61"47' North and 52"4' East, 450¼ versts from St-Petersburg, 1 127 versts from Moscow and 102 versts from the Finnish border at the outfalls of Neglinka and Lososinka rivers. It has about 12 000 inhabitants, mainly of Orthodox Church. Due to the convenient water connection with Mariinsky channel and St-Petersburg, Petrosavodsk got some commerce significance. It's main commerce good is rye flour, brought here through Rybinsk and Mariinsky channel and sold here to the peasants of Petrozavodsk and neighbouring Povenets and Olonets uezds. Some flour (about 2000 sacks) is sent in winter times by sledges to supply the needs of Suojärvi state iron mills workers, some more (about 1000 sacks) – for free commerce. The flour is delivered as a back load for those who bring pig-iron from Suojärvi to Petrozavodsk
The main goods here are the products of the Petrozavodsk State Alexandrovsky guns and ammunitions mills that are sent to St.-Petersburg and Kronstadt arsenals to the sum of 500 000 to 700 000 rubles annually by mills management estimates.
The next outgoing trade here are the fish from the Onego Lake and wild game, brought by the peasants of Petrozavodsk uezd. Fresh, frosted and dried fish and gamebird goes mainly to St.-Petersburg, salted fish is sold to Finland. Trapping also gives the inhabitants of Petrozavodsk uezd a great deal of furs, but the town does not participate in its trading. The same is true for the timber trade also. Considerable amount of timber is cut in the state wood dachas*.
The internal trade with soft goods, groceries and colonials, brought from St.-Petersburg and Moscow, as well as the trade with provisions is concentrated in winter in the stone-build Gostiny Dvor (supermarket) and booths on the Trading Square, in summer – on the public goods station at the shore of the Onego lake. Only soft goods is sold at Gostiny Dvor in this time.
Though there is no craft-works in Petrozavodsk, many of local inhabitants make living by handicraft produced for local use.
There are about 1 300 men working at the Alexandrovsky mills. Most of them belong to the petty bourgeoisie. There are six private factories in the town:
In 1875 there were the following public houses in Petrozavodsk:
There are three fairs during the year: St.Afanasy's (January 18-31), St.Alexy's (March 18-28) and St.Peter's (June 29 – July 6). The first two are of some trading value, but not many merchants are coming from other towns and traders are mainly local merchants and peasants. Only china- and delft- ware, copper- and tin- ware, harnesses, icons and popular prints are brought from outside. Most merchandise is also sold to local inhabitants.
Petrozavodsk fairs are mainly rural – some peasants are coming to the town on the main church holidays to show off, sell some handicrafts and food and mainly to buy grain.
There are also weekly fairs, dealing with meat, butter, eggs, fish, berries, game and other food.
There are also fairs in the other settelments of Petrozavodsk uezd:
Also, in every village in the wakes they sell spice-cakes and other sweets till the midday.
The other closest to the described border uezd town is Povenets. It is situated 61"51' North and 52"29' East, at the mouth of Povenchanka River, some 185 versts from the gubernia capital and about 200 versts from the border. There are about 550 inhabitants in it, mostly Orthodox.
The commerce in the town is negligible and is concentrated in the hands of several small merchants. Main external goods are grain of different kind for the town and uezd (about 10 000 sacks a year). Outgoing trade is mainly export of wood, wild game, fish and furs, but for the latter the main trading point is Shunga village with it's fairs.
There is a warehouse to keep up to 500 tons of cod brought from Pomorie (White Sea coastal region). This fish is sold at the place or at Shunga fairs to be shipped to St.-Petersburg with the opening of the navigation.
There is also a water-powered saw-mill with three gang saws, giving the job to 44 workers.
The lack of commercial development and the poverty of the inhabitants force them to look for season work in St.-Petersburg and other places.
In the historical documents Povenets is first met in XVI-XVII centuries as a monastery belonging. There are some notes stating that it was founded in 1598 at the times of Boris Godunov. In 1680 there were a custom point opened at the settlement, the time of its closure is not known. Povenets became an uezd centre in 1782, instead of the abrogated town of Padansk.
The Shunga village, of the 1st stan of the Povenets uezd, is situated on the eastern shore of Putkozero lake and situated some 75 versts by summer road (30 versts by winter road) from Povenets. Total number of homesteads in Shunga parish and a nearby Bolshoy Dvor village is 50 with 121 men and 129 women, all Russian of the Orthodox church.
The village is well-known due to the fairs that take place there four times a year:
The main fair is the Epiphany one.
These fairs take part in the Gostiny Dvor, built on the land of the Shunga church that holds 65 shops. Apart of that a full line of booths along the street. The other side of the street, part of the Putkozero lake and Customs yard are staffed with the sledges with fish, game, butter. Reindeer wool, leather, different trunks are placed direct on the snow. The main stocks are kept at the rented houses.
There are no premises for the visitors except for some homesteads in the Shunga parish and the Bolshoy Dvor village, and, as there are no hotels there and the two pubs do not offer anything except for tea and vodka, most of the visitors have to stay the whole day at the open.
The total turnover of the main Epiphany fair is now from 200 000 to 300 000 rubles, but about 15 years back the turnover was about 1 000 000 rubles. Nowadays the fair looses its significance, as the big part of the fish trade is now moving to September St-Margarita fair in Arkhangelsk at the end of the fishing season on the main Murmansk fields and direct delivery of the fish and wild game to St.-Petersburg by the first winter roads.
The Annunciation fair, with much less turnover, is treated as the continuation of the Epiphany fair. At this fair the Pomors (inhabitants of the White and Barents seas coasts) usually settle the money affairs with volume buyers from the inland Russia for fish, sold at the Epiphany fair, but still kept in the Pomorie.
The Lent fair is mainly a horse fair. The horses are brought from Petrozavodsk and Kargopol uezds, from Vologda gubernia and even from Finland. The horses are sold to local peasants of Povenets and Petrozavodsk uezds and to the horse traders from Oyat River.
4/5 of the trade of the Epiphany fair are the products of the two kingdoms of the Northern Nature – fish, wild game and furs, the other 1/5 – cloth, crockery, groceries, grain and linen. Of the furs the biggest part at the Shunga fairs are squirrel, hare, fox and reindeer. The main money are made on the fox fur. It should be noted, that the furs at the Shunga fairs are not of the best quality and mach cheaper than Siberian furs. By the reason, not known to the naturalist, the dark furs are better and cost more and the father to the East, the darker are the furs of the animals that change their color. So, the Irkutsk squirrel cost twice more and the squirrel from the East of Baykal – four times more than the European one.
The furs mainly are brought not by the trappers, but by the merchants and is sold by big lots: the hare to Rostov, the Squirrel to Kargopol and Vologda, the fox to St.-Petersburg, the reindeer – to Arkhangelsk.
Of the wild game the main good is the hazel grouse, from which the best are from Pechora – fed on cembra pine, then goes the game from the Southrn shore of the White Sea. Those hazel grouses cost more than ones from Karelia and Povenets.
The game traders are organised in several companies, but some act single-handed. Each buys the game at his "own" region. They lend catchers grain and other goods, needed in household and the catchers cannot sell the game to anyone, except his creditor, who is the only one with the profit in this business. The companies bring the game in the big lots, with up to 1000 heads on the sledge.
The main fish at the fair – dried cod, then goes herring, frosted white-fish, navaga and flounder. The small fish – whitefish, smelt and herring are sold to the local inhabitants, the rest goes to St.-Petersburg. The merchants, dealing with the fish are usually the same that trade wild-game. With the setting of the winter roads they send sledges to Pomorie and even before the fair manage to bring hundreds of tons of the fish to St.-Petersburg. At the fair the fish traders mainly settle the deals on the dried cod. Main part of the fish is not brought to the fair, but goes to the Povenets warehouses, from where go to St.-Petersburg with the opening of the summer navigation.
The cloth and cotton brought to Shunga fairs by Petrozavodsk, Yaroslavl and St.-Petersburg merchants, but these goods, especially cloth, are not of modern design. Most of all are sold Moscow printed cotton with the price of 20 and 18 kopecks for arshin (2 ft. 4 in.). The cloth and linen is sold only for cash and, due to the lack of it among local peasantry, often stay unsold. Other goods – wooden, china and glass crockery, blacksmith, grocery, home-made linen and linen goods, food, vines, tea and sugar are brought to the Shunga fairs in quite a small quantity. The tea is sold mainly to Pomors and local grocery merchants – to be sold then by zolotniks – (1/96 of a pound)/ The sugar is also sold to the local grocery merchants.
Except for Shunga village, the fairs in the Povenets uezd take pate also:
in Lumbushi village – on Our Lady Birthday (8th to 14th September) and Rugozero village – on Christma (28th to 31st Desember). Lumbushi (also called Verkhovye) is the village of the "blacktill" (state) peasants, situated in the Lumbushi parish, Shunga volost, 1st stan of the Povrnets uezd some 18 versts from Povenets on the Lumbusha River. Its has 17 homesteads with 103 inhabitants (all Russian, of Orthodox church). There are a church, post and commercial horse stations and a sawmill belonging to the Zakharyevs peasant family in the village.
Rugozero is of Rugozero parish, Rugozero volost, the 2nd stan of the Povenets uezd. It is situated 225½ versts from Povenets and 119 versts from the headquartes of the stan officer (in Bogoyavlenskaya village) on the Rugozero lake on the mountane with the same name. It has 75 homesteads with 75 inhabitants (all – Karelians). There are 2 churches, 1 chapel, a mill and a smithy in the village. The Rugozero volost office is also in this village.
There are three state-owned works in the near-border Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezds: Alexandrovsky guns and ammunitions mills in Petrozavodsk itself, Konchezersky cast-iron mill in Petrozavodsk uezd and Valazminsky cast-iron mill in Povenets uezd.
Of the private works the biggest are saw mills:
In Petrozavodsk uesd:
In Povenets uesd::
All the buildings of those mills are wooden, the timber is cut in the state wood dachas in Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezds. The standing timber is sold on the public auctions. The foremen and workers on those mills mainly are hired Russians.
At present the new private cast-iron mill is being built by Mr.Rodokanaki and Co.
Production of all the mentioned mills is sold in St.-Petersburg, being shipped there by the Onego Lake, the Svir River and the Ladoga Lake.
With the scarce population, marginal land and limited cattle breeding the agriculture here is not much rewarding. The corn of local production is enough only for 3-6 months, for the rest of the year the peasants have to buy corn from local merchants and from the government reserve stores. The main treasures of this land are: 1) Forests, substantial part of a timber is used in shipbuilding and exported in boards; 2) Iron ore; 3) Porphyry, granite, different kinds of marble and other minerals that are not mined now.
The inhabitants of the Petrozavodsk and Povenets uesds in winter take for a carrying of the goods to Shunga fairs, ore, cast-iron and lime to the iron-mills and timber to the saw-mills. The carrying is not the main trade of any of these places but the necessary support for the home. The peasants are used to carry goods only in winter. In the summer the lack of the working hands and working cattle and lots of water links makes it trade almost negligible.
The commerce in these places is rather minor, concentrated in the towns and the above-mentioned fairs. In the summer more-or-less serious traffic can be seen only on the Svir river, with the well-known Vosnesenie harbor at it's head in the Onego lake. In Vosnesenie the grain, coming in river barges from Rybinsk by Mariinsky and Onezhsky channels transshiped to more seafaring lake vessels to be delivered to St-Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Povenets.
Buying of grain in the Olonets gubernia is possible only here, at the gathering of grain supplies. The price on grain and flour is set in Rybinsk, from where the freight to St-Petersburg and Petrozavodsk is about a Rouble per a quarter.
The Svir River is a main artery of the Olonets land and near this river the peasants are more economic active and well-being that the inhabitants of the other places of Petrozavodsk and especially Povenets uezds. While moving away from the river the population becomes sparsely, roads are worse and poverty increases.
Before joining the Finland to Russia Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezds had strategic significance. In the times of Catherine the Great during the war with Swedes there stood Russian military detachment. Old people say that after a year-long stay of a cavalry detachment all the forage in the nearby villages was annihilated so after the troops were withdrawn there was a big shortage of hey and other fodder.
At the peacetime this region so unpopulated and poor cannot be taken in consideration as a troops stationary. Even the nature itself, independently of the economic consideration, does not allow the necessary space. The terrain here is quite mountainous, covered with forests and studded with lakes. Only in Petrozavodsk uezd there are over 2 000 lakes.
For your closer acquaintance with the population of Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezds for 30 versts inland from the border line here is presented the list of the all settlements in this border strip.
Petrozavodsk uezd, 1st stan.
The 1st stan officer headquartes are in Petrozavodsk.
Salmenizh volost, Salmenizhsky parish.
Konchozero volost, Konchezersky parish.
There are 4 958 inhabitants (2402 men, 2556 women) in the near-border settlements of Petrozavodsk uezd.
Povenets uezd, 2nd stan.
The 2nd stan officer headquartes are in Bogoyavlenskaya village (Bogoyavlenskaya volost, Padansky parish), 100 versts from Povrnets (by the post road to the Lumbushi station and then by the rural cart road). In the distance the main number – the distance from Povenets, number in brackets – the distance from the stan officer headquartes.
Settlements of Manduselkskaya volost, Lindozersky parish.
Porosozerskaya volost, Porosozersky parish.
The following 11 settlements are situated between the Suna river and Finnish border:
The following settlements are situated to the east of the Shuja River, near the lakes inside its tight bend:
Rebolskaya volost, Rebolsky parish.
Rugozerskaya volost, Kimasozersky parish.
The total number of the inhabitants in the border-line settlements of the Povenets uezd 2 758 (1338 men, 1432 women).
The nearest Finnish towns – Serdobol with 631 inhabitants, Joensuu with 511 inhabitants, Kuopio with 3 525 inhabitants and Kajaani with 562 inhabitants are about the following distance from the decrypted border line: the first – 150 versts by winter and 230 versts by summer road, the second 200 and the latter two – 300 versts. This towns have a big impact in the inner trade of the Grand Duchy. Their inhabitants make live by: 1) trading with the items brought by the sea; 2) transporting to the towns goods necessary for their life; 3) transporting to the towns foreign goods (usually in winter time). In the warm time of the year the goods are delivered by the lakes and the rivers and also by roads, kept in quite good condition and spreading every year. It shoud be noted, that the amount of the internal trade is not known. After the Ladoga lake with quite alive navigation and shipping lines between St.-Petersburg, Kexholm, Serdobol, Konevets and Valaam the second place by the cargo turnover holds the Saimaa Lake, by which mainly the green treasures of the inner lands are rafted to Joensuu and then to Viborg. To easy the connections there is steam navigation on the lake.
The fairs also are increasing the trade. Though, from the time of abolition of the law that allowed the peasants to sell their crops only on limited territory, and giving everyone the right of free trade the fairs lost much of their past importance and some of them had to be closed. Still there are about 80 fairs in the inner towns of Finland and some places of Ostrobotnia and Lappmark. The turnover of the Kuopio fair reaches sometime 3 000 000 rubles. The fair in Serdobol and Kajaani previously were more often visited by Russian merchants. The Lappish fairs are often visited by Russian peasants from Kem uezd (Archangelsk gubernia) that buy on the fairs in Kem and Povrnets hempseed, soap, yuft (Russian boot leather), leather and provisions and bringing them, in winter by sledges and in autumn by water, to Lapland. The lack of the information makes it impossible to say anything about the turnover of Finnish fairs.
The inhabitants of the Finnish border region are mainly grouped along the rivers, brooks and lake shores, along the big roads and around churches. The places in-between, sometimes for several tens of versts, are absolutely empty. But even in the more populated places they do not live in the big densely built villages but in the widely spread houses placed in the centers of the land plots, called here "Geymant"s (gejmant), possessed by them.
Just on the border of Povenets used of Olonets gubernia and Ilomantsi uezd of Kuopio gubernia there is a village Megra, at the lake with the same name, well-known by the hermitage of the dissenters of Fedoseev sect. The similar hermitage is in the Pahka-lamppi village of Ilomantsi uezd, some 20 versts from the border.
According the aforesaid list of the settlements of the Russian border strip, that is 30 versts wide, the total number of inhabitants there is 4 958 (2 402 men and 2 536 women) in Petrozavodsk uezd and 2 768 (1 338 men and 1 430 women) in Povenets used, making total of 7 726. As all the territory of the border strip in Petrozavodsk used is around 60 square geographic miles (97 versts 204 sazhens x 30 versts), dividing 4 958 on 60 we will get 83 inhabitants per square mile. The territory of the border strip in Povenets used is about 179 square miles (292 versts 285 sazhens x 30 versts), 2 788 inhabitants of this strip will give the density of population of 15 inhabitants per square mile.
In Petrozavodsk and Povenets uezds the boarder strip inhabitants are all Karelians, the nation of Finnish origin, speaking their own language, called Karelian. By religion, way of life and line of work this Karelians do not differ from Russians.
Except for meagre tillage, near-border inhabitants also mow herbage for the livestock, which they have quite few, compared with the amount of the arable land and hayfields. The main trades of the peasants, except for agriculture are fishing, hunting, logging and floating, gathering the iron ore from the lakes, production of charcoal and delivery of it to the iron mills.
The density of the population in the gubernias of the Grand Duchy of Finland3, bordering with the Olonets gubernia (per square mile):
And by uezds:
This numbers show that the Finnish side of border strip is populated denser than Russian, where, according the aforesaid, there are only 15 to 83 inhabitants per square mile.
Except for the hermitages, mentioned above (Megro-Järvi and Pahka-Lamppi), inhabited by migrated here Russians, the Finnish border strip is inhabited by the same Karelians as on the Russian side, with the only difference that Finnish Karelians are speaking proper Finnish and except for the parishes Salmis, Suojärvi, Suistamo and Korpiselkä they are of Lutheran Church. The 4 mentioned parishes (covering 70,57 square miles) are mainly of Orthodox Church.
There are orthodox churches built in these parishes and there is one Lutheran priest visiting these parishes in turn to serve for Lutherans.
The near-border Finnish citizens are mainly peasants and they live by agriculture and same trades as Russian near-border Karelians.
Almost 600-years Swedish domination had left a big impact on Finland and the latter has taken from the former modern agriculture, intellectual education and state structure. But despite all these Finnish people did not loose their nationality and the main representative of it, the Finnish language, is still kept in it's pristine purity. In the last years they began to pay mach more attention to the learning of Finnish language with the aim not only to encourage the mass education but also make Finnish language common for all classes.
Of the Finnish side areas adjoining the Olonets Gubernia most populated are the shores of the Pielis-Järvi Lake. The kirkshpils (parishes) Pielis, Nurmes and Jugo, occupying the splendid meadows around this lake, have more than 25 000 inhabitants.
With the bigger density of population, modernized agriculture and better communications the inhabitants of Finnish side of the border regions enjoy more prosperity than the neighboring dwellers of the Olonets gubernia, who quite often are unable to pay even some state dues.
Here is the time to say some words about appearance and temper of Karelians, living in the described border region.
Karelians are slender, with pleasing regular features, enlighted by the big blue eyes over the Greek-type nose. When mixed with the neighboring Savolaks Finns they change this primordial type and become wider in shoulders, shorter in neck and pug-nosed.
Karelians have a vivid and cheery temper, are quite curios, talkative and boastful, but at the same time very helpful, industrious and courageous. Earlier they, in the union with Visby and German Gansa cities had big trading contacts, big part of which was the Eastern trade via Novgorod by the Ladoga Lake and The Neva River. The spirit of commercial enterprise is still alive in Karelians and it shows up in huge caravans of sledges, used by them to deliver goods in winter for quite a distance.