To the history of the town of Olonets and its surroundings

In the department of manuscripts of St.Synod Archive there are several bound manuscripts collections, belonging to His High Regend Ignatiy, former Archbishop of Olonets. Looking through the different articles, enclosed in these collections I found two short notes concerning the town of Olonets and Olonets Uezd and, with understood curiosity, paid special attention to those notes.

I found that they were sent to archbishop Ignatiy in June 1836 by the Olonets citizen Ivan Kondratyev. Sending his work attached to the special letter to His High Regend, Ignatyev begged the archbishop to pardon the style of his notes as "except for the alphabet had to lean literacy by himself" and to treat them favorably, in order "to encourage him to the further similar researches".

"Only few written notes, telling about the time of foundation of Olonets came to our times" – writes Ivan Kondratyev to His High Regend, – "and most information about that times and the battles and other remarkable events it the region comes from the old tales, though most of them have irrefutable evidence. The meaning of the names Olonets, Korela, Aunus, Livvin is now not known not only to Russians, but to Karelians too. Learning and looking through this, knowing Karelian and, partly, Finnish languages, I found the beginnings and causes of aforesaid and some other Karelian names of the valuable and remarkable places around Olonets, with especial attention to the places where the Gods Temples are built. And I made these notes with the aim that this knowledge would not pass in vain".

It is quite obviously, that Mr.Kondratyev could not have the right understanding and exact data on the issues, concerning the initial colonization of Olonets Uezd. And that can be easily found in his notes. But his attempt of philological approach to the names of the settlements, lakes and rivers in Olonets Uezd deserves attention. And it is this attempt that gives his manuscript the interest, giving it the right to be fully published in this collection of works, dedicated to Olonetz region. It would be useful to make a critical revision of Mr.Kondratyev philological researches, to correct and enrich them, but to my pity, I cannot do that as do not know Karelian well enough.

Except for his philological researches, Kondratyev's notes include some interesting historical tales. For example, the tale about ancient houses, that inhabitants of near border Olonets villages built or the tale about establishing the border line between Russia and Sweden in 1617. The notes also content the first written down tale about the meeting of Peter the Great with the inhabitants of Olonets during one of His Majesty visits to Martial Waters.

The notes on foundation of Olonets and explanation of the origin of different Karelian words and names of remarkable places

25. Kondusha. Kondusha is called in Karelian Stroychan-kondu, what means St-Trinity's due to the nearby Monastery of Alexander Svirsky, to mark the difference with Pogranichnye Kondushi. Kondu is the name for a land plot used by one owner and that also mean that the owner's house situated at some distance from it. Near this village, situated on the shore of the Ladoga Lake and also between this village and the other one, sitting on the Swedish side there are two stones, called raja-kivet in Karelian, what means "border beginning stones"¹.

26. Pogranichnaya Kondusha. The village Pogranichnaya Kondusha is called in Karelian Raja kondu. Raja means the edge, the border. There are cuttings on them: from Russian side – eight-edges cross and from Swedish side – the horseshoe and several slightly visible Swedish letters meaning the year 1617. From those stones the border was set as follows: Russian and Swedes, equipped with the watches, went over the places of a border to be during two hours. And as each side wanted to get better places, they often went through villages, dividing them onto two parts, as they still exist now.

By E.M.Prilezhaev
Olonetsky sbornik: Materials on History, Geography, Statistics and Ethnography of the Olonets region, Issue 3, Petrozavodsk 1894.

¹ One of the stones, mentioned by Mr. Kondratyev is so called "Varashev's stone" laying in the Ladoga lake near Pogranichye Kondushi village near the shore, some 10 sazhens from granite cape. This is a big stone of red granite lays in the water, showing about 2 arshins over it. This stone really marked the border line set between Russia and Sweden in accord to 1617 Stolbovsky Treaty. In the demarcation document of that time (October, 1618) it is called a"Varachin Stone, also known as Varachin" and it is noted that tere were cut "the cross in the circle and the crowns and the year number" on it. The latest and the best archeology note about Varashev's stone was published in the 10th volume of "Drevnosty", published by the Moscow Archeology Sosiety (Moscow, 1885, pp. 102-104) and in the 2nd issue of "Olonetsky sbornik" (Petrozavodsk, 1886). In those notes there is a mention about the secon stone, also mentioned in Kondratyev note. It is said that the stone is near the Serdobol post highway between the Pogranichnye Kondushi village in Olonets Uesd and the house of Virdilä custom point in Finland and that stone is without doubt a continuation of border line, set by Stolbovsky Treaty and the cutting on it are Swedish Crowns and letters of non-Russian alphabet. Of cause, Kondratyev made a mistake, when he took Swedish crowns for the horseshoe, In the afrosaid 1618 demarcation document it is clearly written: "Borders and marks from the both sides were correctly found, investigated, set and erected according the old documents rightly as it was in the old times. And the signs on that border marks are set from the side of our Great Sovereign His Majesty the Tsar and from the Russian State there were set crosses and from the side of the Noble Sovereign His Majesty the King and from the Sweysky State there were set crowns. And on other places there were dug pits and filled with the coal" (First full edition of the Laws of the Russian Empire, vol.1, N19, p.203). E.P.
Sazhen – old Russian measure of length, about two yards
Arshin – old Russian measure of length, about thirty inches
Uesd – first-level administrative unit in the Great Principality of Moscow and Russian Tsardom and second-level administrative unit in the Russian Empire