About fire in church of the Kutuzov village in 1907 and about one family legend.

November, 24

Parish Old Stories as stated with comments of old man Perfill, the local historian and the county dear

The Eighth Story.

About fire in church of the Kutuzov village in 1907 and about one family legend.

Whilst studying vast library of the Central Historical Archive of the City of Moscow, in one of catalogues I have found a case file as of 1907 which seemed to me to be rather strange: “About building the preaching house in the Kutuzovo village”[1]. Orthodox Christians usually call their house of preaching the church or the shrine, and preaching house is something more typical for Protestants, Baptists, or, save me the Lord, the Seventh-Day Adventists. And that’s in our locality, at all times Orthodox, Kutuzovo!?

Having the case file “on hands” I found that it there is nothing in it about any sect members, but it is dedicated to the fire that took place on 15 December 1907 in the Christmas Church of the Kutuzovo village and about construction of preaching house at place of the church burned down.

1. Request of the priest, Alexiy Lebedev and the church warden, Tiazholov.


№ 4542

From the Christmas Church
of the Kutuzovo village
priest and church warden


On 15th day of this December month at 6 p.m. in our village of Kutuzovo the church burned out to the base. It is a set in of Great, and in our case the Church feast day of “Christmas”. Having lost the church we cannot find a home to celebrate that great feast day. To help us, the landlord of ours, Stepan Vasilievich Pridorogin, stepped in who gives us his house in the Kutuzovo village to be used as a preaching house.
Your Excellence please allow us to accept such a gift and to utilize it as a preaching house where we, the congregation deprived of the church of ours could have offer prayers to Our Lord. The year of 1907, December the 17th Day.

Of the Christmas Church of the Kutuzovo village,
the Priest, Alexiy Lebedev,
and the Church Warden, Tiazholov

Resolution to the case file No. 4542

To order to the Archpriest to investigate this request and provide his comments.


Wooden church on fire. Modern photo

Of course, “brevity is the soul of wit”, but the church that stood in Kutuzovo since 1785 burned down. How did it happen? Under what circumstances? The Request says nothing thereabout. So the resolution on Request is rather appropriate and justified. To the Archpriest of the 4-th district of Bronnitskiy County, Shubinskiy priest, Mikhail Soloviev, on 10 January 1908 the respective order was sent.

2. The Report of the Archpriest

Preceding the report of the Archpriest of the 4-th district in the case file there is a reference about burned down in the Kutuzovo village Christmas Church. It is of interest to us:


According to clerical bulletin for 1906 the following was stated about the Christmas Church of the Bronnitskiy County:
Built in 1785 due to care of landlord Sergey Ivanovich Kazarinov with parish people. Plan and facade for the one were prepared by the county architect, Borisov, in 1902 and were kept in sacristy. The building was made of wood on foundation made of stone with the wooden bell tower, roof made of iron, fence made of stone with grid-iron. There was two altars. The cold cell in the name of Christmas, and the warm aisle in the name of the Holy Martyr Paraskeva. There was enough holy vessels. There was ninety yards prescribed to that church, and males - 294, females - 291.
So now, let us turn directly to the wording of the Archpriest report:
To the Moscow Ecclesial Consistory


In pursuance of the Order of the Moscow Ecclesial Consistory as of 10 January of this year under No. 320 herewith I am honored to report to the said Consistory that in the Kutuzovo village on 15 December 1907 the church burned down to base, about what on 17 December 1907 there was report under No. 315-m sent to His Eminence Metropolitan, Vladimir.
All documents, income and loss books, confessional books, metric books, books with documents certifying that the bride and bridegroom are not related and prayer books burned down. Taken out by priest, Lebedev were the sacred Antimensions, sacred Vessels, sacred Gospels, sacred Vestments, Holy Shroud and icons from lower row of iconostasis.
The fire began from overheated oven, that, likely was faulty. The fire was noted by one female peasant who was on her way from psalmist home and saw the church roof already on fire, it was about 5 p.m. and she started to knock the priest’s window who immediately came to church and by ringing the alarm bell gathered the people, who in turn began to save all things possible.
Measures taken to distinguish fire were found to be useless as pipes did not work properly, there was no water and heave flame did not let people to come closer. Police carried investigated the case promptly.
(Hundreds of years pass alternately but situation in Russia does not change since times of Great Fire in Moscow in 1812, the fire fighting systems are often either absent or not in operation, there is no water at all or not sufficient, fire alarms do not trigger, etc. It is enough to remember recent fire in Kemerovo with tragic consequences. Truly, believe of ours in Russian “perhaps” is undying.
For the sake of just it should be noted that before fire in Moscow in 1812 the Moscow Commander in Chief, the count, F.V. Rastopchin himself ordered to take out fire fighting pipes from the city prior to our capital being invaded by Napoleon’s troops. – F.d.)
Such distress that came upon the congregation of the Kutuzovo village, was taken by the heart of local landlord, Mr. Pridorogin. Mr. Pridorogin upon request of local priest and church warden was at first ready to give his wooden house as preaching house but changed his mind. It was very indecent for him to give living house to be used as the House of Lord. And so he already brought new wood for preaching house and other necessary materials for his own expense. All poor parishioners also took part in delivery of materials.
Seeing such warmest diligence in such a case of both the landlord, and parishioners, it would be not good not to sympathize them, and in my turn I would believe it required to immediately issue an order on part of Diocesan Administration allowing for building the preaching house in the Kutuzovo village and thus to give spiritual relief to the Orthodox Christians in the upcoming Lenten Season and not to cool down the benevolent contributor. The Priest, Lebedev has a plan of the house to present.

The Archpriest, the Shubin Village Priest,
Mikhail Soloviov.
19th Day of January of the Year of 1908
3. So what was built?

On 17 December 1907 Kutuzovo Priest, Alexiy Lebedev and Warden, Tuazholov asked Diocesan Administration about building in village of the preaching house instead of church burnt down on 15 December 1907. On 16 March 1908, the Archpriest, the Priest, Mikhail Soloviov sanctified the preaching “house-church”:


In pursuance of resolution of His Eminence, Vladimir, the Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomenskoe, dated 13 February of this 1908 Year under No. 623 in response to request of the Kutuzovo Village priest, Lebedev about sanctification of the preaching house – “It ordered to me, the 4-th archpriest to sanctify the said house and report to the Consistory thereabout” - thus I am honored to report that said preaching house-church according to regulations of church was sanctified on 9 March 1908.
The Archpriest, the Shubin Village Priest,
Mikhail Soloviov.
16th Day of March of the Year 1908

 In clerical bulletin of the Christmas Church of the Kutuzovo Village of Bronnitskiy county for the year of 1909 it is stated:

Instead of burnt down on 15 December 1907 and with permission of diocesan administration under No. 2876 on 4th of March of the Year 1908 there was built temporary church for the expense of donors. The building is of wood, on stone foundation with wooden bell tower and iron roof. There is one altar in the name of the Christmas, and enough holy vessels” [2].

The said temporary church, the “preaching house” and the “preaching house-church” was likely built robust and well. It stood in the Kutuzovo Village until its closure in mid 30-ies of XX century. And it could have stood longer if not for the known historical circumstances.
One cannot withhold admiration, as we say nowadays, from the rate of construction of new Kutuzovo church. It took only three months from the day of fire that completely destroyed old building until sanctification of new church! It likely, that church was built and decorated by all together. The Easter Feast Day parishioners celebrated in their new church. The Day of Easter in 1908 came to 13 April.
4. New plans.

After less than two years, elated by success of joint congregation construction, the priest Alexiy Lebedev, the psalmist, Ilya Tsvetkov and the church warden, Tiazholov applied to the Archbishop Trifon with request to permit to build in the Kutuzovo Village the church of stone in the name of Christmas [2].

From the Christmas Church of the Kutuzovo
village priest an4d church warden
In 1907 in our village of Kutuzovo the church burnt down to base; with permission from Diocesan Administration the temporary church was built. We humbly request, Your Excellence, to permit to build church of stone in the name of Christmas. To built the church according to cost estimate prepared by the Architect, Mr. Pavlov seventeen thousand three hundred forty nine /17349/ Rubles 84 Kopecks is needed. Currently we have only three /3/ thousand Rubles. The missing amount we hope to cover with best-willing contributions.
Attached hereto is the project of church and layout of locality in two copies and cost estimate for erection of church.
31st Day of December of the Year 1909
Of the Christmas Church of the Kutuzovo village,
the Priest Alexiy Lebedev,
the Psalmist Ilya Tsvetkov,
and the Church Warden, Tiazholov

Endorsement of the Archpriest on request:

It is true, the church burnt down on 15 December 1907. The church has said amount of 3000 Rubles. – The Archpriest of 4th district of Bronnichinny County of the Shubin Village, the priest, Mikhail Soloviov (signed)

2nd Day of January of the Year 1910
On 14 January 1910 the Moscow Ecclesial Consistory forwards the project of new church of stone, layout of locality and the cost estimate of expense to the Construction Department of Moscow County Administration. After long process of getting approvals (Construction Department made multiple remarks to construction part, layout of locality and, particularly, to the cost estimate of works, assessing them at nearly 30 000 Rubles), The Moscow Ecclesial Consistory by its determination as of 10 September 1910 No. 2067 permitted “to build new church of stone according to approved project at the same place where the burnt down church stood for the funds mentioned in the request”.
Nowadays, more than hundred years after the events described we can do nothing but regret that beautiful church in Russian style with elements of modern according to project of young architect N.P. Pavlov was not yet build in Kutuzovo. In 1926 only unfinished by construction brick walls of said church were first seized by new authorities, and then transferred together with wooden church for use by Christians of Kutuzovo village, as it was custom at that time [3].

Reasons for new church having been not built are not known till now. It was four years to go before World War, and seven years before great revolution distress. Probably, not rich parish simply overestimated its financial capabilities. As of 13 August 1912 the average annual income of church of Kutuzovo Village for preceding 10 years amounted to 62 Rubles only. [4]. By its income the church was one of the poorest in church district and eparchy. However, we can understand our ancestors. Insufficient funds cannot be reason not to make an attempt to make true a dream about new church. May be, if they had more time...

5. Brief information about persons mentioned in this story and one family legend.

His Grace Trifon (Turkestanov) and the Priest Alexiy Nikolaevich Lebedev – for more details please refer to previous seventh “Parish Old Stories”.
Landlord, S.V. Pridorogin – represents new class of after reform landowners without noble roots. It is known [5], that Kozlov’s (from the town of Kozlov o.m. P.) commoner of Tambov County, Ekaterina Nikiforovna Pridorogina owned 35 tithes allotment gardens and 20 tithes of birch wood in Kutuzovo. In total, her property at Kutuzovo village and wasteland of Sotnikovo amounted to 137 tithes. Inclusive, she owned in the earlier XX century the ancient park with area of 4 tithes, that survived till present time in deteriorated state. In 1913-1916, E.N. Pridorogina applied to the board of “the SPb - Tula lands bank” asking for loan of 25 000 Rubles under pledge of her property in Kutuzovo village.
The Archpriest of 4-th Church district of Bronnitsky county, the Priest, Mikhail Soloviov.
Investigating the fact of fire in church in Kutuzovo the archpriest, the Priest, Mikhail Soloviov was ordained to the Uspensky church in Shubino village in 1876. In the village he founded the church-parish school. For his work in field of peoples education he was awarded with merits. In 1893 he was appointed the archpriest of 4-th church district of Bronnitsky county. He served in Uspensky church of Shubin village for about 35 years. In 1910, the archpriest Mikhail Soloviov was appointed to the Moscow church of “40 Martyrs of Sebaste”, where he had a rank of prior till his death in 1931. Father of Domodedovo Holy Martyr, Sergiy Soloviov executed by shooting at Butovo firing range in 1938 [6].

The Psalmist, Ilya Alexandrovich Tsvetkov.
The son of psalmist. Graduated from Alexander-Marfino abode. On 18 June 1909 appointed psalmist of the church of Kutuzovo Village from Cosmo-Damian Church of Andreevskoe village of Kolomenskoe county. On 18 December 1909 cognizant of sticharion [7]. On 8 October 1912 transferred from Kutuzovo to position of psalmist in Probrazhenskaya church of Krenev village [8].
The Architect, Nikolay Pavlovich Pavlov.
Had residence in the City of Mocow, the common part of 3-rd section of Second Meschanskaya street in house No. 91.
In 1906 he graduated from the School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, one of leading arts educational institutions of pre-revolution Russia. By note dated 24 September 1910 he informed the Construction Department of Moscow County Administration that he assumes responsibility for robustness and correctness of building and commences construction of church in the Kutuzovo village of Bronnitsky county of Moscow area [2]. 

The Church Warden, Tiazholov (Modern rules of Russian grammar require to write this surname as Tiazhelov, but we will follow the documents of that times and leave the wording to its owner, the warder Tiazholov himself).
When I have first seen in above documents this signature, honestly speaking I was sometimes surprised. No, of course I knew that the only old house in Kutuzovo with first floor made of stone in the center of village, locals called “tiazholov’s house”, and that the name of one of comfortable for swimming water holes of local river, was “tiazholikha”. But that names were not associated with real person, Tiazholov. “So, this is true!” - was the first thought on my mind when I saw signature scribbled by solid handwriting: “the Warden, Tiazholov”.

The thing is that in my childhood I heard from my many relatives in Kutuzovo one old story. It’s subject is as follows. My grand-grandfather Pavel Matveevich Produnov, the Kutuzovo peasant “termless dismissed cannoneer”, how he named himself in some documents, not long before revolution of 1917 received inheritance from deceased brother who owned small wall paper factory.
The Kutuzovo’s peasant, Pavel Matveevich Produnov. Retouched photo of early XX century.
The factory was sold, and funds received from its sale were divided between heirs.  The share of Pavel Matveevich was a certain can with golden ten ruble coins of Czar’s minting.
Golden coins of Czar’s minting.
The size of that can in stories of my relatives grew continuously. By age of manhood they reached the volume of 3 liters milk churn!
In 1918 – 1919 Pavel Matveevich decided to build new house for the expense of funds received. For convenience of payment for materials to be used for construction of house and services of carpenters he invented nothing better but to exchange his golden ten rubles coins to “kerenkis” the paper money circulating in Soviet Russia till 1922 so called in the name of the Chairman of Temporary Government, A.F. Kerenskiy. He did it with help of his wealthy co-villager Tiazholov.
“Kerenki”: uncut sheet of 40-ruble notes and 20 ruble note.
However, “kerenki” began to lose value abruptly, so entire rolls and large sheets of uncut notes were used for payment. Having understood his mistake fast, Pavel Matveevich turned to Tiazholov with request to return him his gold in exchange of “kerenki”. But, Tizaholov obviously refused to do so. Soon, to Kutozovo from Moscow came the son of Pavel Matveevich, Niklay who worked at that time on Lubyanka under Dzerzhinskiy. Nikolay came not alone, but “with comrades” and had a “long negotiations” with Tizaholov demanding from him to return the gold. But he refused completely: “invested the gold, but failed in business”. Nikolay returned to Moscow having achieved nothing from Tiazholov directly and indirectly.
So Pavel Matveevich failed to build new house. His wife, my grand-grandmother as I was told pasted “kerenki” over all her chests and wardrobes from inside failing to find better use of them.
To conclude I would like to ask treasure hunters not to be active near “tizaholov’s” house.
If Nikolay with colleagues from Lubyanka failed to find something, I am afraid you will not be lucky enough after hundred years. And it was just a family legend. Although…
Yours Old Man Perfill
8 July 2018
List of used archive and literature sources:

CIAM, f. 203, inv. 478, c. 11.
CIAM, f. 203, inv. 480, c. 632.
CIAM, f. 1215, inv. 4, c. 50
MCV-36-7-1912-of., page 23
CGAM, f. 277, inv. 6, c. 467.
Churches and monasteries of Domodedovo Land. Domodedovo, 2011, pp. 394-395.
CIAM, f. 1371, inv. 1, c. 95, SF, pp. 139-143.
MCV – 43-1912-of; pp. 356-357.
© Old Man Perfill Parish Old Stories 2018
If reprinted reference to the church website is mandatory.