1902 Encyclopedia > Vologda (government), Russia

Vologda (government)

VOLOGDA, a government of north-eastern Russia, having Archangel on the N., Tobolsk on the E., Penn, Vyatka, Kostroma, and Yaroslavl on the S., Novgorod and Olonetz on the W. This immense government, which comprises an area of 155,500 square miles, stretches in a north-easterly direction for 800 miles, from Novgorod to the Urals, including the broad depression drained by the Sukhona from the S.W. and the Vytchegda from the N.E., head-waters of the Dwina. From the basin of the Volga it is separated by a flat, swampy, and wooded swelling, where the heads of tributaries belonging to both Arctic and Caspian drainage-areas are closely intermingled. The eastern boundary of Vologda follows the main water-parting of the Urals, which has but few points over 3000 feet ; wide partnas, or woody plateaus, fill up the space between the main Urals and the southern spurs of the Timansk Mountains, in the upper basin of the Petehora, and it is above the parmas - especially over those which are nearest to the Urals proper - that the highest summits of the Urals rise in the form of dome-shaped mountains (Tellposs, 5540 feet above sea-level ; Hoste-piiir, 4955 feet ; Idjed-kashem, 4225 feet). The Timansk Mountains are a swampy plateau, where the rivers flowing either to the Dwina or to the Petchora take their rise in common marshes ; so that on the Mytva portage boats have to be dragged only a distance of three miles through marshy forests to be transported from one system to the other.

Permian sandstones and cupriferous slates cover most of the territory ; only a few patches of Jurassic clays overlie them ; while in the east, in the Ural parmas, coal-bearing Carboniferous, Devonian, and Silurian slates and limestones appear, covering the crystalline slates of the main ridge. Vast layers of boulder clay and Lams-trine deposits cover the whole. Rock-salt and salt springs, iron ore, millstones, and grindstones are the chief mineral products ; but mining is in its infancy.

Vologda is profusely watered; as many as 4800 rivers and streams have been counted on its maps. The Sukhona, which rises in the south-west and flows north-cast past Vologda, Totma, and Velikiy Ustyug, is navigable for 375 mites. After its junction with the Tug (390 miles long), which comes from the south, it becomes the Dwina, which flows north-west, and receives the Yytelicgda, another great river, 740 miles long and navigable for 570 miles, which, however, waters a nearly uninhabited region. The Luza, a tributary of the Tug, is also navigated for more than 250 miles. The Petchora, which flows through eastern Vologda, is an artery for the export of corn and the import of fish in the Petchora region, otherwise difficult of access. The Pinega, the Mezeii, and the Naga, all belonging to the Arctic basin, rise in northern Vologda. In the south-west the Sukhona is connected by means of Lake Rubenskove and the canal of Alexander of Wiirtemberg with the upper Volga. Numberless smaller lakes occur, and marshes cover a considerable part of the surface.

The climate is severe, the average yearly temperature being 36' F. at Vologda (Jan., 10'7 ; July, 63°'5) and 32'5 at UstSysolsk (Jan., 4o; July, WI).

The flora and the physical aspects present a great variety of characters as the traveller moves north-east down the Sukhona and up the Vyteliegla, towards the parnuzs of the Petchora. In the south-west the forests are cleared, and the dry slopes of the hills are covered with fields and meadows ; the population is relatively dense, and nearly one-quarter of the area is under crops. There is a surplus of grain, which is used for distilleries ; and apples are extensively cultivated. The flora is middle-Russian. Farther to the north-east the climate grows more severe ; but still, until the Dwina is reached, corn succeeds well, and there is no lack of excellent meadows on the river-terraces. Flax is cultivated for export ; but only 4 per cent. of the area is tilled, the remainder being covered with thick fir forests, with occasional woods of deciduous trees (birch, aspen, elder). At about the 46th degree of east longitude the larch appears and soon supersedes the fir. Several plants unknown in western Russia make their appearance (Silence lartarica, Anthyllusvulnowia, Eaphoilia palustris, Filago arvensis, Lycopodi lint complanatioa, Sang ta.yorla offloinalis). The Veratan s is especially characteristic : it sometimes encroaches on the meadows to such an extent as to compel their abandonment. The region of the upper Mezeii (the I.Tdora) again has a distinctive character. The winter is so protracted, and the snowfall so copious, that the Zyrians are sometimes compelled to clear away the snow from their bniey-lields. But the summer is so hot (a mean of 5-4' for the three sunnier months) that barley ripens within forty days after being sown. The Timansk plateaus are a marked boundary for the middle-Russian flora. Those to the east of them arc uninhabitable ; even on the banks of the rivers the climate is so seven., especially on account of the icy northern winds, that rye and barley are mostly grown only in orchards. The whole is covered with quite impenetrable forests, growing on a soil permeated with water. Mosquitoes swarm in the forests; birds are rare. The Siberian cedar begins, and the lhne-tree disappears. Fir, cedar, pine, and larch chiefly compose the forests, with birch and aspen on their outskirts. limiting is the chief occupation of the Zyrian inhabitants.

The population (1,172, 250 in 1883 as against 960,850 iu 1861), consists chiefly of Great Russians (88 per cent.), and Zyrians (12 per cent. ; only 7 per cent. according to Rittich). The Zyrians - a Finnish stein akin to the Permians - constitute the bulk_ of the population on the Ural slopes. They formerly inhabited the Kama and -Vyatka basins, and call themselves Komi-yurt, or Komi-yas, and in the 11th century the Russians hardly distinguished them from the Permian:3; but they were compelled to migrate northwards into the basins of the Dwina and Petchora, and even across the Urals, by the religions fanaticism of the earlier Christian missionaries. A portion of them now live in Archangel (about 15,000), and their aggregate numbers are estimated at from 100,000 to 120,000, but tho figures are very uncertain, as they are often hardly distinguishable from the Russians, whose religion and habits they have assumed.

The chief occupation of the Russians is agriculture, and the average crops of 1883 to 1885 were rye, 785,000 quarters ; barley, 926,000 ; oats, 925,000 ; other grains, 197,000 ; and potatoes, 107,000 quarters. In 1883 they had 229,500 horses, 520,200 cattle, and 392,900 sheep. They also fell timber, prepare tar, pitch, and potash, and manufacture wooden utensils. In the south-west they pursue a variety of domestic trades (spinning, weaving, sewing of plain cloth, &c.). The manufacturing industry is represented by a few ironworks, distilleries, paper-mills, and a variety of small manufactures ; their aggregate production was only £274,500 in 1884. Salt was raised in 1881-84 to the average amount of 65,000 cwts. Flax, linen cloth, linseed, butter, tar, pitch, timber, and furs are the main items of export, the chief centres for trade being Vologda, Verkhovajsk, and Ustyug.

Vologda is divided into ten districts, the chief towns (with populations in 1331) being YOLOGDA (17,025), Gryazovets (2225), Kadnikoff (1520), Nikolsk (1880), Solvytchegodsk (1320), Totma (3380), Ustyug Yelikiy (7980), Ust-Sysolsk (4100), Velsk (1410), and Yarensk (1250). (P. A. K.)

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