Starostin Ivan
(d. 1826)

Industrialist, famous for his wintering in Svalbard. For the first time sailed to Svalbard from the Solovetsky Monastery in 1780.

Starostin hunted in the area of ​​Green Harbour, once abundant beluga whales. Here he spent 32 winters, with 15 in a row.

He enjoyed universal respect both among Russian industrialists and among Norwegians. One Norwegian, who personally knew Ivan Starostin, describes him as follows: “it was a fat, red-cheeked, white-haired, always cheerful old man of small stature”.

He died of senile senility and was buried next to his hut on Cape Starostin.
In 1864, N.A E-Nordensheld visited Starostin Cape, where the half-ruined hut of the famous Grumandlan still stood. In 1873, R. Drashe-Vartinberg visited the tomb of Starostin, who saw a crudely coffinized coffin immersed in the ground for no more than one foot (according to Vize, V.Yu., 1948).

Starostins moved to the Dvinsk region in ancient times. They are descendants of Novgorod ushkuynikov, who moved to the North by water, settled along the banks of rivers, lakes and on the coast. In 1871 Anton Timofeevich Starostin, a peasant of the Vologda province of Veliky Ustyug district, the grandson of the famous Ivan Starostin, wrote: "My ancestors come from Novgorod descendants, settled on the Northern Dvina". This was the basis for publicists. Mention of the Starostins living in the Dvinsk lands began to appear in popular literature. On the basis of archival documents and some literary publications, it is certain that this is the place that was the village of Telegovo. The assumption is confirmed by the metric books of the churches of Veliky Ustyug district. From the records in the books, one can make a firm conclusion that the Starostins lived only in Telegov and nowhere else. As for A.T. Starostin - there is an additional confirmation from the Lenin Library.


Cape Starostin and the house in which he lived

(from the site


Unfortunately, it is impossible to establish more complete biographical data, namely: year of birth, patronymic, time of marriage, the composition of the family of Ivan Starostin. Metric Books Telegovskaya Trinity Church for the years 1740-1780  in the state archives there. It is known that they did not surrender to the State Archive, but were kept in the church itself; with the establishment of Soviet power were transferred to the Telegovsk village council. The village council occupied one of the peasant houses and in 1931 burned down from the careless handling of fire. In the event of a fire, all documents were burned.

From the documents that have reached our days, it is known that for the first time Ivan Starostin visited Svalbard in 1780 and was engaged in fishing for the beast. At first he lived on the island for two winters, then he visited the island with annual breaks. After the death of his wife, he went there and never left the northern latitudes. So 15 years have passed.

All this time Starostin kept in touch with his relatives, who every summer came to him to take away their trophies and replenish their food supplies. I went to my grandfather and grandson, Anton Timofeevich, which was described above.

Ivan Starostin died in 1826 and was buried next to his hut on the shore of the Eisfjord. The grave is not preserved. (

Southern entrance cape to Icefjord.

The mountain is the extreme northwestern part of the Nordenskiöld Land, the island of Western Spitsbergen.


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