Suojarvi

The town of Suojarvi is located 139 km to the north from Petrozavodsk on the shore of the lake of the same name. The town is the administrative center of Suojarvsky region.

The name of the town originates from the name of the lake. This hydronym was formed of Karelian words “suo” or a swamp, and “jarvi” or a lake, i.e. “a swamp lake”.

Colonization of the Suojarvi shorelake started in XIV century. A settlement called Kaipaa with 20 farmsteads (or homesteads, or “dvor” – a peasant’s house with a plot of land and household buildings) on the southern side of the lake is mentioned in the archive documents. At present residential area is located at this place, but in the past there was Shyezersky pogost – administrative and religious center for 9 small villages located on the vast territory nearby Suojarvi lake. During several centuries and to the end of XVIII the number of farmsteads in Kaipaa gradually reduced up to 12, although the region was actively developed. The number of villages increased up to 30. Such villages as Peppaniemi, Korpiselga and Varpakula became even bigger in the number of farmsteads than the central settlement of the pogost (21-24 farmsteads).

Development of the settlements of Suojarvi lake falls on the second half of XIX century. In 1860-s a new state mining plant consuming local raw materials was built nearby Kaipaa. The plant processed up to 350 thousand poods (5600 tons) of iron ore, smelted up to 60 thousand poods (960 tons) of cast iron. Alexandrovsky plant in Petrozavodsk was the main consumer of Suojarvi cast iron. The plant operated till 1907 and was closed because of economic crisis in Russia and fall of demand for cast iron in Petrozavodsk. After that the economy of Suojarvi was reoriented to wood processing. A timber mill was started up in Kaipaa and operated till 1930-s.

In 1918-40 Suojarvi was the centre of Suojarvy volost (district) of Finland, and since 1940 it has become a town of Russia.

In 1940 Petrozavodsk-Suojarvi railway road was built, what was of great importance for the economic development of the region.

At present the town of Suojarvi is one of the centers of wood processing in Karelia. Development of tourism (sports, environment) also has good prospects because of the unique nature of the Suojarvsky region.

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