Articles / Farmsteads


Subject / Topography/Villages

FARMSTEADS, settlements (mostly of one homestead), separated into a farm on a plot of land individually owned or used. In the Russian tradition, the term F. as applied to homesteads in Finnish villages of a scattered planning (in particular, settlements of Ingermanlandian Finns in the south of the Karelian Peninsula), in fact agglomerations of individual F. In the north of the Karelian Peninsula (Vyborg Gubernia), the development of farmsteads was promoted by buy-out of landowners’ (so-called donation) lands that began by the initiative of the Government of the Grand Principality of Finland in 1867 (in the rest of Finland, the communal lands were redistributed by the royal order of 1757.) F. existed until the final acquisition of Vyborg Karelia by the USSR in 1944 accompanied by total replacement of the population. The buildings were moved to more compact settlements in 1950-55. Any buildings whose relocation was found unreasonable were destroyed by special Young Communist detachments. F. in the western part of Leningrad Oblast appeared in the 2nd half of the 19th c. due to the mass migration of Estonian peasants who reproduced the customary farmstead type of settling under new conditions. Influenced by contacts with the Estonians, Russian dialects of Ingermanlandia in the early 20th century used the term ”groont” apart from F., from Estonian “kroont” meaning “homestead” or “household” (recorded in written materials of the 1920 census.) After the start of Stolypin’s agrarian reform (1906), and later in the 1920s, Russian, Finnish, Izhorian, and Veps households began to split to F. This resulted in generation of a new type of settling, with villages surrounded by F. Segregation to a farmstead did not mean breaking all ties with the village community (farmstead owners pastured their cattle in the village herd, used the common village well etc.), while an Estonian farmstead was an enclosed management system. In the years of the collectivization (1929-39) farmstead owners could join collective farms without moving to villages. Thus, collective farms appeared in Ingermanlandia where some or all of the members lived in F. F. were liquidated in 1939 according to the Resolution of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and the USSR Government “On actions to prevent collective farm lands against squandering”, which among others mentioned Leningrad Oblast as a territory with a significant proportion of farmsteads. The resolution set the target date at September 1, 1940, but local authorities assumed “increased obligations” and moved farmstead people to villages before the start of the 1939 crop harvesting. Where the owners refused to bring their house to the village voluntarily, this was done by force: usually, the authorities, tore the roof down from the house and did not permit to restore it.
See also Ingermanlandia, Vyborg District, Priozersk District.

A. Y. Chistyakov

Chistyakov, Anton Yuryevich

Neighbouring Territories/Finland
Historical Toponyms/Grand Principality of Finland
Historical Toponyms/Ingermanlandia (Ingria)
Topographical landmarks/Karelian Isthmus, the
Historical Toponyms/Grand Principality of Finland/Vyborg Province
Topographical landmarks/Vyborgian Karelia

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