Previously published in PGS-CA Bulletin (Issue #92, January 2009)

Puńsk Translated from the Słownik Geograficzny (1880-1902)
by Helen Bienick

Puńsk, once a small town, in the late 1800s was known as a small settlement. It lies in the district of Sejny, in the county of Suwałki. There is a parish church in the village. In distance, it is 27 verst [1] (Russian miles) from the city of Suwałki, in the northeasterly direction. It is located on the right side of the high road, which connects Suwałki and Mariampol. The local church is built of brick, and there was an elementary school in the village.

In the late 1880s, there were 105 houses with 760 inhabitants. The Puńsk area covered 803 morgen [2] of land. In 1827, there were 82 houses and 748 people. The area was very woodsy and close to the royal forest, which was very big, and reached a height of 1000 feet above the water level of the Baltic. Puńsk became a town in the 18th century, about the same time as the cities of Maryampol, Kalvarija and Ludwinów. (These cities are presently in Lithuania). Due to the lack of favorable conditions, it was never able to develop and flourish. The first county administrator was Ludwik Pociej, a castellan from Wilno (now Vilnius). He was a Lithuanian commander, who founded the town of Ludwinów. Puńsk was very grateful to him in his efforts to grant it privileges. Later, the civil rule of Puńsk was combined with the village of Krasnowo.

Stanisław Zalewski, the king’s standard bearer from Inflanty, became the benefactor in the formation of a parish and erecting a wooden church in 1597. Eventually, this church was replaced by one built of brick, and designed in the shape of a cross. The parish of Puńsk belongs to the deanery of Suwałki, but at one time was a member of the deanery in Sejny. The deanery numbered 10,302 souls. The forest area of Puńsk is divided into two sections called Wiżajny and Lebiedzina. In total it covered 4,651 mr. of land. Most of these forests, (3,945 mr.) were in the county of Suwałki; 142 mr. were located in the county of Kalwarja.

    End notes:
  • ↑ [1] One verst equals 0.663 miles or 3,500 feet.
  • ↑ [2] One morgen (mr.) equals ~2.1 acres.