Along with the new status, Norilsk also received leading functions: 25 deputies were elected to the village council, a registry office appeared. In 1939, the village consisted of six streets – now it is the territory of the Old Town.
A small metallurgical plant was already in operation, the first large circulation was published, and on New Year’s Eve a public Christmas tree was installed on the street for the first time.
One of the first chairmen of the village council was Zoya Tumanishvili – from 1944 to 1952.
She was the first real mayor of Norilsk, because her predecessors occupied this position only for several months. Here are her memories:
“What can I say about the village? Wooden houses and small huts. The political department was located in the geologist Urvantsev’s house. Here, on Gornaya street, there is a design department, geological engineers, a canteen, a baklaboratory, a state bank. A little farther the prison was situated. Zavodskaya street was built up perpendicularly – with two-storey houses made of rubble stone. There was also a polyclinic on this street. Before the construction of the club, all cultural events took place in the dining room. There was a school on the hill. The premises for the village council were allocated in a two-story wooden house on Zavodskaya street. It consisted of two rooms: 18-meters-one and a very small one. Another room was given for the military registration desk. Through a corridor on the same territory there was a people’s court. The surname of the council’s first chairman is Shiryaev. In 1941 he volunteered for the front. A very young man from the correctional officers who replaced him also went to the front in a very short time”.
In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told that geologists saved Norilsk: in the 1950s, the city could have ceased existing.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive