THE HISTORY OF BAM
AFTER THE WAR, BUT BEFORE BAM
THE BIG CITY
THE ART AND SOCIAL LIFE
THE FIRST DECADE. 1975-1985.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS.
THE BREAKING POINT
WHAT'S LACKING IN THE CITY
WOULD YOU LIKE MORE DETAILS?
TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF THE AREA
Tynda (Biased Notes)
Here is an idea of how Tynda looked at the time:
There was no bridge across the river.A ferry ran between the banks. On the right riverbank, where the "BAM" stadium is today, there was a wooden warehouse that belonged to the Solov'evsk (Dzhalindo-Urkansk at that time) Supply Agency.The warehouse was a trans-shipment base for food and other supplies bound for gold mining sites.Next to the warehouse, there was a log hut of the ferry operator and the warehouse guard.On the other side of the ferry, there was a temporary hostel for students.
The left bank had a lot more buildings on it.Next to the bank, there was a hut for timber-floaters.Families of these workers lived in Solov'evsk (the Solov'evsk gold mining sites used to be called Vasil'evskie before the revolution of 1917).There also were other log-huts for the transit folk.
Approximately 300 - 400 meters away from the bank stood a cooperative general store that was called "Integralsoyuz."The store procured furs, reindeer skins and other materials from Evenki and supplied them with first necessity goods in return.Fedor Nikitovich Kolokol'nikov was the first store manager as well as furs and materials purchaser at the same time.
On the other side of the highway, a few houses were built for some field expedition.A little further from the newspaper and stationary stand "Soyuzpechat'," a bathhouse was built which was used by all Tyndinsky dwellers.
1932 was a very important year for the settlement's future.On April 13th 1932, the government passed a decree on BAM exploration.Engineers had to perform a research and come up with a construction plan of the Urusha - Permskoe railroad.That same year, the settlement of Permskoe was renamed into Komsomolsk-on-Amur and given a status of a town.The new railroad mainline was to open the shortest route from Siberia to the Pacific.A merging point of the new mainline and Transsib was also chosen.
Thatís when BAM abbreviation showed up on the map for the first time.The spelling was B. A. M. Construction of access railroad to Tynda began in BAM railroad settlement.
Construction of AYH was growing and expanding.People were arriving to Tynda every day.Some stopped here; others went further to Aldan (gold mining site Nezametny at the time).Workers were needed all over the place: gold mining, carpentry, lumber and saw mill industries.
Working conditions were very poor.In spite of the declared ďplanned development and populationĒ, as always in our country, nothing was really prepared for this.There was a shortage of housing, dining facilities and garages.The trucks were passing through 24 hours a day.The driving speed was low and the truck stops were about 150 - 200 km apart.The distance of 130 km to Solov'evsk took 8 - 10 hours.There was no place for drivers and passengers to get warm.Only in 1932 a truck stop was built.Starostin family lived and managed the facility.
Around 1936 appeared the first trading organization -- trading outpost of Aldan Supply Agency.Then a diner (tea bar) was built.It was open 24 hours a day.It used to be on the other side from the truck stop.Soon two stores opened up.These stores were open 24 hours for passing AYH drivers.
The settlement had already 9 trucks.Camels were driven out by that time.I think this was due to xenophobia.All that's foreign is dangerous.That's the way the nature wants it.To a newcomer from Central and Western regions of the country to see a camel was wild and incredible.That's why horses were the main transportation force.In 1940 the headcount in the settlement was 326.Reindeers helped quite a bit by delivering firewood to schools, hospitals and children's facilities.Here is an interesting excerpt from the Dzheltulak Local Executive Committee's minutes from 10/2/34:
"We've ruled: send a request to Regional Executive Committee to authorize an issue of two bicycles for liaison between field Soviet offices and their corresponding settlements at the expense of the regional finance department.Also, authorize the option of purchasing the bicycles by the liaison officers for their personal use."
I think they'd figured out that a bicycle is a lot more practical than a camel.
In 1936, the settlement had become the center of the area.
An excerpt from minutes #31 from 12/20/35 of the National Central Executive Committee (CEC):
"Discussed: a petition of the Far Eastern regional executive committee to relocate the center of Dzheltulak area (Zeya Region) from Dzheltulak to the settlement of Tynda.
We've ruled: to authorize relocation of the center of Dzheltulak area (Zeya Region) from the settlement of Dzheltulak to the settlement of Tynda.
This decision is to be published."
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According to Census of 1939, the settlement was inhabited by: women -- 1115, out of which 171 illiterate and 181 students; men -- 3526, out of which 119 illiterate and 210 students.Dzheltulak District Supply Organization (DSO) had meatpacking, barrel making, furniture manufacturing, sewing, boot-making, leather-making facilities.The annual production volume was 215,000 rubles (indexed for those years).
There was a school in the settlement (Iíll refer to it as village from this point, R. S.).By 15th of September 1940, there were 565 students (219 in 1831).There also was a newspaper press and a movie house.However, electricity was always in short supply.For a modern person it's hard to imagine his or her life without electricity, TV with Mexican soaps, but thenÖ Before the WWII, only "AYHtrans" auto repair shops had a portable 40-watt generator.Two thirds of generated electricity went to satisfy the needs of the garage.The rest was allocated to the school, the movie house and the newspaper press with the editor's office.Later, around 1948, separate generators appeared in the Road Management Office and DSO.That energy was sufficient only to supply the sawmill, some offices and the store.Only in 1949, "AYHtrans" acquired 60-watt and 100-watt generators.
On 8th of November 1937, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 1917 October revolution, builders send a report to I. V. Stalin on the completion of the BAM - Tynda railroad line and the beginning of its use.The first steam engine arrived to Yuzhnaya station by the newly laid rails.To achieve the speedy construction completion, builders had to work double shifts under the lights of the specially delivered generator.
An attentive and sarcastic reader would ask: "Where did the steam engine come from?Did someone just drive it on the highway?"Of course not.Tynda is closely connected with the Baikal-Amur mainline.Let's dip ourselves into the history of the parallel nearby closely intertwined railroad line.