CITY OF LOVE,
or Nine romantic stories from the past
Tamara KALIBEROVA Vladivostok
I recall when I was taking a Guide course one of the teachers asked: "What was the beginning of the city of Vladivostok?" I automatically told the famous fact - "40 soldiers of the fourth battalion under command of ensign Komarov landed at the Golden Horn bay on June 20, 1860".
She frankly smiled and responded: "Well, I feel the city has begun with love".
Just when years passed by, and Vladivostok became so native to my heart, I came to realizing that she was right. Only a child of love could grow up in this wild outlying district of Russia by the Great Ocean.
In spite of the fact, that Vladivostok was primarily intended as a fortress--port, women started to appear over here pretty soon. First they were political deportees in ugly dresses, then officers' wives with their lovely hats and umbrellas. Nowadays we can not measure the importance of those tender hands and sweat hearts in rough life of pioneers full of hardships and adversities.
It is a fact that the first woman who voluntarily moved to Vladivostok was Mrs. Reiter, a wife of a captain who served over here. She got called "Mother Reiter". She fed young bachelor officers, sponsored at weddings, became godmother for a whole bunch of kids!
By the way, the first child in Vladivostok was a girl. Settler Yevdokiya Garelko gave birth to a daughter on September 27, 1863. She got called Nadejda ( Russian word for hope ). This name became a talisman of the city, as well as Lyubov ( love ), which was a name of the second Vladivostok baby.
There were much more men in the city in the past. For example, even a quarter century after its foundation, in 1884, men outscored women four times.
At one time an enterprising fashionable photographer issued a special album with a pictures of all prospective brides in the city. A Polish deportee Mikhail Yankovskiy once was a customer of that photographer. He chose Olga Lunkinichna, an orphan, a niece of Port Administration Commander Kirkutov. Years will pass by, and this family will become rich and famous in Vladivostok.
Yes, 135-year chronicle of our city keeps track of many romantic stories. Women arouse love. Today we will tell you some of those stories. Maybe, after reading this, you will get another look at the well known bricks of an old city. They remember so many words of declaration of love, heart secrets; they keep trace of love that "moves the Universe".
1. Red Rose Of Amazon
That was love at first sight. Margarita Sheveleva, a daughter of a famous Vladivostok businessman and patron of art, saw Yuri Yankovskiy at the hippodrome. He was considered for fine horse-rider and won almost all prizes. Young Margarita dressed in a rider-habit came up to her elect after his next victory and presented him a red rose. They got married soon.
In 1906 Margarita moved to Yankovskiy family estate at Sidemi bay. She was a soul of a large united family. The Yankovskiys were famous by their model farm at a deserted peninsula. They also bred horses, grew ginseng, studied the history of our region and its beautiful nature.
Yuri and Margarita managed to carry on their love through all hardships they and to experience after the "Great October". They raised four children: Yuri, Valeriy, Muza, and Victoria. The family moved to Korea after the Revolution, having abandoned all their estate and property. Margarita died over there in 1936.
- She was a magnificent woman, - tells Angelica Petruk, a scientific worker of Arsen'ev museum. - she wrote plays, staged performances, she was a friend of K.Balmont. She met him in Moscow. She lived at her aunt's whose sister was a first wife of a famous poet. We keep a copy of the last Balmont's letter to Margarita Sheveleva-Yankovskaya.
"Dear Dazy! (That was her nickname among friends)
My tender Siberian love is strong and unforgettable! I have selected the best poems from my spring harvest; and I am sending those to You and Your daughter, who is a poetess, too. (Victoria) A fascinating image is so alive in my heart like we were together many times and looked in each other's eyes with warmth.
Please write me in details how your heart felt my poems.
Truly yours, K.Balmont."
2. One his hand hugged Her, another--sky
Her name was Nadejda. His--Peter. They came to Vladivostok in the last day of 1906, December 31. By that time she got a certificate of tutor, he had graduated from Artillery School in Saint Petersburg.
The future of a young officer in the capital was right and shining. Although, there was no place for happiness over there: he could not marry his darling because the regulations required a so-called "reverse" of 5 thousand rubles if an officer younger that 28 wanted to get married ( to support a family in case of his death). A junior officer was not old enough, neither had the required amount of money. That is why he chose to move to the Far East where this restriction did not apply. Nadejda followed her beloved man even thought it was pretty scandalous situation (unmarried wife) for those time notions.
Right after getting off the train they hurried up to the church, where they got married. They began such happy family life the have been dreaming of for so long. The newly-weds rented a small apartment. The first their purchase was a piano for rent. They both laved to sing a lot. Their music-parties got very popular among city's intelligentsia. Peter served in 9th East-Siberian Artillery Brigade. He treated soldiers fairly, let them "leave the ranks behind the door". He got a reprimand from the heads, and police included him in the list of political suspects.
His passion through all his life was the sky. He loved to make all kinds of job from the air. He carried on his famous loop on August 27, 1913. A year later he made the first ram ever. He left this world on August 26. That is the end of short story of unusual love of Nadejda Galitskaya and the first balloonist Peter Nesterov.
3. At the loud ball
Year 1882 was full of memorable events for a 36-year old telegrapher Nikolay Sollogub, who arrived at the disposal of Chief Commander of the Eastern Ocean ports.
He decided to set up his own newspaper in Vladivostok. The authorities approved the idea, so he left for Odessa to get the necessary equipment on a cruiser "Moscow". The ship got wrecked by African coast. The crew and the passengers got saved thanks to Sollogub's bravery and quick wit. He got awarded with a Gold medal with Saint Vladimir ribbon for rescue the drowning men. But the medal was not the only award he got that year. Once in Odessa, during a ball, he met a young high-schoolgirl Sonya Andruschenko, who became his faithful companion throughout all his life.
N.Sollogub returned to Vladivostok with a young wife. He built a "castle" for her on the shore of the Golden Horn bay. This creature of original architecture is still alive, although its view has changed a lot. Stone is getting decrepit, but old walls still remember wonderful love. Happiness did live over there. The couple had five kids: Georgy, Vera, Olga, Anatoly, Alexander.
Finally Nikolay gained his object and created a newspaper Vladivostok, "opened for every truthful word". The first issue of it appeared on April 17, 1883. In the beginning there were tons of hardships and problems. The wife always helped him when he had hard times. She worked as a proof-reader, helped with the printing. Vladivostok issues came out every Sunday for ten year.
Wife found Nikolay Slough in his office with a pen in his hand when his heart stopped beating. The first editor-in-chief of Vladivostok just turned 47...
4. "Yuli-yuli" Boat
and French Grammar
I got shown this set of postcards with old Vladivostok views at Arsen'ev Museum. The back side of each postcard has keeps a tiny bit of a young lady's life - an officer's wife who followed her husband to such distant place. Those postcards were addressed to Her Excellency Maria Trofimovna Kosturina. Sent by her daughter Olga Burachek, a wife of Vladimir Burachek, Navy officer; daughter-in-law of the first Vladivostok post head.
Vladimir came over to Vladivostok half-century after his father, having graduated from the Navy school and served at "Admiral Makarov" cruiser. The city remembered his father: his name was given to one of the mountains. As well as his father, he spent two years over here, serving at destroyers "Vlastniy" and "Trevojniy" (powerful & anxious)
His wife Olga was side by side with him: young, charming, she grew up in comfort of the big city- Saint-Petersburg. Her short notes-postcards show how powerful the love was: neither unsettled state of living, nor long lonely days and nights could break it.
April 6, 1911.
Dear Mom! Please write me at the following address upon receiving this: Vladivostok, 2nd Portovaya Street, Grace house # 6, as Vladimir is going to leave on April 15, I will miss him and your letters, which I sure don't look forward to.
April 19, 1911.
...I got pretty much flowers from the officers for Easter - three men sent me bouquets. How touching.
May 6, 1911.
...Last night Volodya urgently had to his ship, which was standing in the middle of the bay. There was a small typhoon. I was with him on a Yuli-yuli ( a type of Chinese boat ). The boat was rolling. What a great trip!
May 19, 1911.
...Dear Mom! I think I found a student to give lessons to. I will be awfully glad. It is so boring to sit home alone.
September 16, 1911.
...I am lonely again! If you knew, how tiring is loneliness. Nevermind, he will be here soon...
February 20, 1912.
Dear Mom! I was going to write you a letter, but I have to limit myself to a postcard. I am afraid to be late and miss the parade the Chinese are presenting in honor of their New Year. They are going to carry a giant dragon on a pole...
March 22, 1912.
You know, mom, I spent the whole yesterday in search for a new hat, and did not find any suitable one. They are so tasteless and expensive over here... Would you please ask Ira ( a sister ) to write the bibliography of the French grammar she used in her studies. Let her write as soon as possible.
5. American Cooper &
Christened Chinese Maria
This couple attracted general public's attention. Henry Cooper - was a prosperous businessman. He came over to Russia in the 70-es of the past century, became a Russian citizen. He was one of the first Vladivostok residents. He used to buy real estate, and then resold those to the newcomers. HE owned several hotels and inns. She was a Chinese: smart, Oriental-mysterious. The first theater production in Vladivostok occurred at Mary Cooper's theater. That happened in 1872; Bakushev's company performed Hamlet.
As the famous student of local lore Nelly Miz tell, the theater was located in a big fanza (a type of Chinese building) at a point of present Dzerjinsky club. The building got destroyed in the 80-es during the plague epidemic. Another building grew up over there in a few years. It was called cabaret-theater. It had various names throughout the years: Modern, Moulen Rouge, Acvarium.
That was a happy love. Another Chinese woman, an owner of Green Bricks store, unfortunately fell in love without reciprocal feeling. That was a reason why she urgently sold the store and left the city. Yes there were enough interesting dramas in Vladivostok, too. Here's one of them.
6. An assault with
This incident was a really big issue in Vladivostok in September 1913. A famous merchant V.I.Sinkevitch was returning from his dacha in a first-class carriage. A stranger came up to him and asked for a cigarette. He splashed the acid in merchant's face and got off the train in the bustle. The killer got arrested soon. He was hired by a certain Rackov, who was a jealous man, and thought his wife was having a love affair with the merchant. Vladislav Sinkevitch was really handsome and was popular among women. In this case it costed him an eye.
However, sometimes people had to pay with their lives for their love. This happened Margarita Solov'eva, a wife of a famous traveler, writer, scientist Vladimir Klavdievitch Arsen'ev.
7. Vladimir and Margarita
According to numerous memoirs, Margarita was the most beautiful girt in Vladivostok. In addition she had fine education. She was practically fluent in French, German, and English. V.K. Arsen'ev did not venture to make her a proposal because of 19 years difference in age, but the feeling was so strong that the age became of no importance soon. In a little while Margarita gave birth to a daughter Natasha.
V.K. Arsen'ev died in September 1930. The repression began right after his death. He got accused of imperialistic ideas propaganda and protection of the Russian capitalists. Margarita got arrested in March 1934; she was charged with cooperation with a anti-revolutionary organization. She got sentenced to death in the last months of 1938. Thirty years later the Supreme Court of the USSR pleaded her innocent (posthumous decision)
8. The had to go around the Globe,
before they met.
A civil wife of Alexander Kolchak spent 37 years, one half of her life at Gulag. That was a price of love at first sight that lasted for several decades.
A.V. Kolchak, the "bloodthirsty white governor", as he was labeled, was also a Russian admiral, a scientist, a researcher, No. 1 specialist of the Navy mine-fields in the world. He discovered and explored island in the Kara Sea, which was given Kolchak's name.
Kolchak visited Vladivostok several times, he even saw the opening of the monument to G.I.Nevelskoy on October 26, 1897.
Anna Timireva visited the city just once in 1918. Her husband Sergey Timirev retired and agreed to help the new Soviet power. He got a mission of Pacific fleet property settlement. A.V. Kolchak was in China that time, "on the other side of the barricades".
"Upon arrival to Vladivostok, A. Timireva immediately wrote a letter to Kolchak; she went to the British consulate and asked to deliver the letter to the addressee. In a few days Anna Vasil'evna met a stranger who handed her a letter from Alexander Kolchak".
He wrote: "Your letter is here, and I don't know is it reality or, I imagined all this".
"My trip was like a dream, - recalled Anna Timireva. - Spring. The mountains were full of sherry-trees in blossom - white clouds, white slopes... We went around the Globe, and we found each other."
9. A waltz as a keep-sake.
The waltz Amur Waves is famous all over the world. A bandmaster of a brass band Kuss presented it to his sweetheart Vera Kirillenko who lived over here.
That is it. Vladivostok. A 135-year old city of love.