For Mappy Monday, I just found a little gem tucked into the end-pages of Vsia Rossia, the All-Russia business directory, digitized by a library in Russia. The document was published in 1895, so it is long out of copyright, and fair game for using here. Guberniya (provincial) boundaries are shown in green, and roads in red. The center of the 5-pointed asterisk (or maybe it’s more like a starfish) in the middle of the map is the town of Baranovich. Slonim, the town where my grandmother Sophie Klebanskaya was born in 1895, the year this was published, is just to the left of Barnovich. Heading north the road passes through Lida, all the way to Vilna. Heading northwest (which grandma did on the train 100+ years ago) gets you first to Volkovysk (where grandma lived from age 10 to 17) and then to Bialystok. Heading northeast, you get to Minsk. Heading south you’d eventually get to Pinsk (Sounds like the lyrics to Lobachevsky, an old Tom Lehrer song: Nikolai Ivanovich Lobachev…but I digress).
Poland – as we would recognize it today — is to the west, and the towns of Warsaw (Varshava), Radom, Lublin, and Lomza are prominent. Further to the east are the towns of Igumen, Mogilev, Gorki, and Vitebsk. All names that roll trippingly off the tongue, and some of which I plan to visit sometime in the future.