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Asmus

A folwark in Chojnice county, belonging to Wielkie Chelmy. 50 inhabitants, all Catholic.

Source: Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego - Warsaw 1880

Translated by Gerald R. Schmidt, Pittsburgh, PA, E-mail: gshmit@PeoplePC.com (Feb 2003)

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Augustow

Augustow, the main town of the county of the same name, at 53 49" latitude and 40 38" longitude [by the archaic system measuring longitude from Ferro; the modern value, measured from Greenwich, is 23 00"], on the Warsaw-Kowno highway, 240 versts [256 km.] from Warsaw, 28 [30 km.] from Suwalki, 73 [78 km.] from Grodno. Augustow has a county office; a court of the peace for district V belonging to the confer-ence of judges in Suwalki; the administra-tive office of the Augustow canal; a post office; and an international telegraph office. There are four churches in Augustow: one Catholic, one Evangelical, and two Ortho-dox. The population of Augustow is 7,846 in the town itself, 3,939 males and 3,907 females, with 501 houses; the suburbs—Bialobrzegi, Biernatki, Klonownica, Turow-ka, Wojtowskie-uwoloki and Zarnowo—have a total of 2,105 inhabitants, 1,086 males and 1,019 females; there are 327 houses. At present 446 wlokas belong to the town, of which there are 139 of woods, 15 of lakes, and 5 deserted. The present-day suburbs of Zarnowo, Biernatki, and Turow are former forestlands added to the town by Zygmunt August in 1564.

Augustow was founded by Zygmunt August in 1561 on the lands of the royal estate of Knyszyn and was named for its founder. Fishing, brewing, and liquor retail trade are its inhabitants’ main occupations. Built as it is of wood, it has burned down several times, but was quickly rebuilt, as there is an abundance of lumber in the neighboring forests of the Grodno government-owned estate. In place of the previous wood churches, a stone church was erected in 1848 from the contributions of its parishioners. In a chapel outside of town there is an image of Christ that is considered to be miraculous, the object of pious pilgrimages during church-fairs.

Augustow’s Catholic parish belongs to the Augustow deanery; a Greek Catholic parish and deanery also existed there. The Catholic deanery, of Sejny diocese, consists of 12 parishes located in Augustow county: Adamowicze, Augustow, Barglow, Hoza or Sylwanowce, Jaminy, Janowka, Krasnybor, Raczki, Studzieniczna, Szczebra, Sztabin, and Teolin. Augustow deanery of the former Greek Catholic diocese of Chelm was divided in 1863 into 10 parishes: Augustow, Balla Koscielna, Hodyszow, Holynka, Lipsk, Lubno, Perstun, Rygalowka, Sopockinie, Wysokie-Mazowieckie (see “Miasto Augustow,” by Jan Jarnutowski, Biblioteka Warszawska 1863, II–149, and also 1857, III–IV and 1858 II).

Augustow county, of Suwalki province, is bordered on the north by Suwalki and Sejny counties, on the east and south by Grodno province, on the southwest by Lomza province, and on the west by Prussia. Its total area is 36.3 square milas. The land’s surface is a plain with small eleva-tions which cross into the neighboring counties under the name of the Augustow hills. The extensive forests (covering about 77,000 hectares) supply the water for a dense network of small rivers, lakes, and bogs. The more important rivers include: the Niemen, which comprises the eastern border of the county; the Czarna Hancza, which separates it to the north from Sejno county; and the Biebrza, on the southern border. Among those draining the local waters within the county are the Netta, Stawiska, and Jastrz_bianka, with numerous tributaries. The lakes are grouped primarily in the northwestern part of the county; the more significant ones are: Sajno, Necko, Biale, Nizsza Rospuda, Studzieniczne, Gorczyca, Orle, Paniewo, Krzywe, Mikoszewo, etc.

The primarily sandy ground creates 2nd-class rye soil, some of the poorest in the Kingdom; of the 7 counties in Suwalki gubernia, Augustow ranks 5th in terms of fertility. The amount of wheat sowed (in the years 1870-1872) averaged 1,300 chetverts [chetvert = “quarter,” a Russian unit of measurement, about 8 bushels], and 16,000 chetverts of rye. The average yield comes to 8,300 chetverts of wheat and 67,000 of rye. There is no raising of livestock to speak of. Horse stables are maintained in Swiack and Wasilewicze, on the estates of the Counts Wolowicz. Factory industry exists on a low level. Other than distilleries and breweries, the only factory is one for castings and farm tools in Sztabin. Handicraft is limited to satisfying local needs, and only the most simple ones at that. The peasants work at weaving and at distilling tar; trade is concentrated in Augustow and does not produce anything noteworthy.

The routes of communication consist primarily of navigable rivers, the Niemen and Biebrza, and the Augustow canal, which cuts through the county for 98 versts [about 105 kilometers]. In addition the county is crossed by the Kowno [now Kaunas] highway on the western side and the Krolewiec [now Kaliningrad] highway on the eastern side; they are joined by a postal route going to Lipsk and Sopockinie.

The total population is 65,690 (1,781 souls per mila), 33,402 males and 32,253 females [sic]. Augustow county was created after the formation of the Congress Kingdom in 1816 and lasted till 1837, at which time it was changed to a gubernia of the same name. Augustow gubernia, one of five during the former division of the Kingdom, was created from Augustow wojewodztwo [province] in 1837, but was abolished in 1866 during the administrative revisions, and in its place two gubernias were created, Suwalki and Lomza. The Augustow forest district is divided into three watches: Szczebra, Sajenek, and Swiderek.
[Br{onislaw} Ch{lebowski} – Volume 1, pages 53-54].

Source: Slownik Geograficzny Krolestwa Polskiego - Warsaw [1880, vol. 1]

Translated by William F. Hoffman, PGSA Fall 2002 Rodziny.

 
   
 
 

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