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History Of Totma
November 16, 2016 20:41


The origin of the town’s name has many versions. According to one of them, it comes from the word “totm” or “todma”, which means “a low marsh” in one of the Finno-Ugric languages. By the other version, it is derived from the ancient pre-Slavonic Permian meaning “a wet place overgrown with firs and shrubs”. The third version of the origin of the name says that the word “Totma” is translated as “town enchanting the water”. Apparently, this is because Sukhona changes the direction of its flow twice a year.

Totma was first mentioned in the document of the Novgorod Prince Svyatoslav II of Kiev in 1137 - Totma had to pay forty marten furs to the Bishop of Novgorod Nifont to the treasury of St. Sophia’s Cathedral. Salt springs were discovered on the Kovda River in XIII century, two kilometers away from the modern Totma, and locals opened saltworks which began to bring a lot of money to the town, because salt was quite expensive at the time. Now there is a salt spa resort here.

In 1450 Dmitry Shemyaka came to Totma and demanded that the residents took an oath to him. Those who refused were hung with a rock around the neck and drowned in Sukhona. In 1539 the town was burned by Kazan Tatars. Old Totma was not restored, and the new fortress was built on the high bank of Sukhona, at the confluence with the Pesya Denga River. In XVIII century Totma became the centre of equipping expeditions to the Pacific Ocean and to America. The first ship to send to the area of the Commander Islands on the money of the merchant Fyodor Kholodilov in 1747 was the “Ioann” ship. After that they equipped about twenty expeditions to America.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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