Fir-Tree Building


This image is from Tipy postroek v stanitsakh Sibirskogo kazach’ego voiska (Types of construction in the villages of the Siberian Cossack Host), one of three albums depicting the territories, culture, and the way of life of the Cossacks living in the steppe regions of western Siberia and present-day Kazakhstan. These albums were created for and exhibited at the First West Siberian Agricultural, Forestry, and Commercial-Industrial Exhibition in Omsk in 1911. The albums were part of a collection of photographs assembled between 1891 and 1918 by the museum of the West Siberian Branch of the Imperial Russian Geographic Society in Omsk. The photographs in the albums were taken in 1909 by N. G. Katanaev (son of Colonel G. E. Katanaev) during a journey to Cossack settlements in Stepnoi krai (later the oblasts of Ural’sk, Turgai, Akmola, and Semipalatinsk). The Cossacks began serving in garrisons in fortified Siberian towns from the late 16th century onward. In 1808 the Cossacks in these outposts were organized as the Siberian Cossack Host, a military force of mainly cavalry regiments that subsequently took part in the Russian conquest of Central Asia as well as in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904‒5 and in World War I. Omsk was the administrative center for the host, which was headed by an ataman appointed by the tsarist authorities. The host was abolished by the Soviet authorities in 1920. The albums are preserved in the Omsk State Museum of Regional History and Folklife. They were digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project in the early 2000s.

Last updated: February 6, 2018