...and I went to Serdobol town, which Finns call Sordavala, some 10 leagues from Vaalam, and the way there is 7 leagues by the open lake and 3 leagues by the bay at the end of with the town is sitting. This bay, as well as all the way from Keksholm to Serdobol that makes 22 leagues by Ladoga lake, is full of stony isles of different sizes and shapes that are either covered by spruce fir or just stay bare. The Serdobol town is sitting on the small slopy cape penetrating into the bay. All the buildings are wooden and there live mostly Finns, 606 of them are able citizens. Very few of them have small shops, some have small ploughs and most are living from hand to mouth. Only several well-to-do citizens and yeomen do have own land (called gaimats in Finnish) at different distances from the town and get their bread and some other food from it. But the supply is rather scarce and not much is left for sale, so the servicemen that do not own any land there have problems to get daily food supply in the town. Though the rye thrives there, most of Serdobol citizens usually buy bread from Ladoga and Shlisselburg because the land full of stones is mostly uncultivable.
As most of inhabitants of the town and nearby are Lutherans, there is rather a big wooden Lutheran church on the hill over the town. There is no Russian church in the town, it stays some 10 furlongs from the town on the left side of the bay and one hath to ride there from the town. Only a priest and a reader are living there and though it is rather a big parish (660 men and 580 women), the church is very ramshackle. Parishioners are mostly Karelian and do not understand Russian so the priest hath to interpret the service to their language, which doth not have any books written on it. As most of Russian priests serving there knows Finnish well and most of them learned at seminary they at least could translate our service into Finnish, which would be of great help in many ways.
Though Serdobol still lacks any manufacture, except for just started wool felt hats production, they have a fair every year in January. Not only Russian, but also Swedish Finns and Karelians are coming to this fair. The main goods they bring to the fair are marten, otter, mink, lynx and other furs. The price of lynx fell is usually from six to seven roubles, otter fells are of the same price.
There are eight townships belonging to Serdobol circuit with 15 851 able inhabitants, according to the last census. Of them:
Of this areas Serdobol, part of Ruskeala, Impilahti, Suojärvi and Jakimvaara township are crown lands, others are owned by different landlords. The lands of Pelgijärvi and most of Ruskeala townships belong to count Buturlin, the lands of Shuistamo township are owned by Lt.-General Kashkin and Salmi lands belong to counts Orloff.
There are famous Ruskeala marble pits in Ruskeala township, some 7 leagues inland from Serdobol, close to Swedish border, near Neishlot road. They get there marble of the best ash-grey colour with yellowish and greenish spurts. There are also pits with marble of other colours in the mountain area not farther than a league from main pits, including light-blue and reddish marble, green with white, yellow and black stripes and spots, also white, grey and black with spurts, spots and strips and also somewhat brown and grey with white speckles. Main pits are at Belaya mountain with ash-grey marble, which becometh still better with the deeper pits. For this works the crown hireth free people and the marble is used in St.-Petersburg for different state buildings. Marble is brought there by contractors on strong galley-boats which are loaded at piers a league up Helula river that falls into Serdobol bay. It is around seven leagues from Ruskeala pits to Helula piers and the marble is delivered there over the land and costs not a small lot of hard work. Thorough description of this and other pits was published in the last, 1787, year in German by Serdobol Lutheran priest Alopeus.
The townships (kirheshpilles as they call them here) that are situated along Ladoga lake from Keksholm to Serdobol go in the following order: first cometh Hiitola, then Kronenburg (or Kurkijoki, the crane river) - they both belong to Keksholm circuit, the third is Jakimvaari, nearest to Serdobol and belonging to its circuit. Then after Serdobol bay runs Serdobol township, then Impilahti and the last Serdobol township is Salmi and then begins Olonets district. To this side I went by water from Serdobol...