Zapasov Yakov Ivanovich*
The oldest Russian industrialist of Novaya Zemlya.
Born in the village of Pinega Matvera.
In his youth, Zapasov left his native village for Pechora and worked as a farmhand with the kulaks and reindeer herders. From the Nenets who came to Vaigach and Novaya Zemlya, he learned about the fur wealth of the islands. With Nenets, who had lost all deer from anthrax, Zapasov in 1890 sailed from Karin Pustozersk to the Pechora Bay, and then across the ocean along the shores of Vaigach and Novaya Zemlya. Together with Zapasov his wife Anastasia was swimming. Difficulties during sailing have undergone a lot, especially in a storm, when the carbas then dived into the waves, then climbed them up so that it was impossible to get water with oars. It was not always possible to approach the coast: from the boiling water the coastal cliffs rose steeply.
After eight weeks, they reached Karmakul, where by that time the Nenets village already existed. Russian industrialists visited the island, but only for the winter, and in the summer they returned home.
Sputnik Zapasova settled with the Nenets, and Yakov Ivanovich and his wife cut down a hut from a fin in the Poohoviy Bay. So the first Russian settled on Novaya Zemlya, who came here not for the winter, but for a residence.
By this time, the island established an annual steamship communication with Arkhangelsk. The representative of the governor took away all the products of the fishery in exchange for food and hunting supplies. The exchange was clearly predatory, and Zapasov quickly realized that from kulak bondage he had fallen into another, even more hopeless.
In one of the visits of the official, the drunken Zapasov called the governor a thief and a fraud. For this, he was confiscated with a carbas and a rifle, and the troublemaker himself was taken to Arkhangelsk. The governor could not allow sedition, decomposing uncomplaining Nenets.
Zapasov had nothing to count on returning next year by boat, and he went to Pustozersk and from there he repeated his flight to Novaya Zemlya, but without a satellite. He hoped that at least some of the products would be sold, bypassing the "governor's shop".
The experience of the first journey and more favorable weather allowed this time to reach the island in six weeks. Fleeing from the new eviction from the island, Zapasov, with a group of Russian industrialists who came for the winter, settled on the east, Kara coast of the island. However, soon all the comrades of Zapasov died of scurvy, and he returned to his house in Poohovaya lip.
He lived for thirty-three years on Novaya Zemlya, in 1924 he left it voluntarily. Novaya Zemlya fell in love with him for its wild severity, riches of the fur-bearing animal, an exciting hunt for polar bears and foxes. But the forces of the sixty-five-year-old Zapasov were already running out.
Returning to Matvey, Yakov Ivanovich lived here not for long. From agriculture, he lost the habit, and there was little strength. He buried his son Nikita on Novaya Zemlya, Nikita's daughter Olenka, who was born on Novaya Zemlya, died as a girl. Feeling lonely and unattended in Matwer, Zapasov and his wife bought a horse from savings and left for Pechora, the homeland of Anastasia. There he died.
* According to the materials of the book V.E. Strakhov "On the forest river".
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