Life in a Model Estate, Russia, 1900s

The Stakheev-Krestovnikov Family

The farming estate of Dmitry Stakheev (1877-1938) was one of the best in the early 20th century Russia. After studying agriculture in Germany, Stakheev purchased a neglected piece of land in the village of Agishevo and in ten years turned it into a highly productive, modern agricultural facility.

A0143

Yulia (b. 1902) and Yekaterina (b. 1901), daughters of Dmitry Stakheev. Both girls and their mother Sofia Stakheev-Krestovnikov lived in Switzerland for a while, where Yulia underwent medical treatment. They returned to Russia after the end of WWI. Agishevo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s

A0136

Agishevo Estate, park entrance. Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s

A0172

Teachers and students at a local school. Village of Agishevo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s

A0088

A fire squad in the fire barn. Village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s

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Alevtina Krestovnikov, sister-in-law of Dmitry Stakheev, with friends in theater costumes. Zagorye Estate, Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, Загорье, Крестовниковы, усадьбы]

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A girl in a Russian folk costume. Zagorye Estate (?), Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, усадьбы, Российская Империя]

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Dmitry Stakheev in a theater costume in Zagorye Estate, which belonged to his in-laws, a family of Russian bankers and industrialists, the Krestovnikovs, 1900s [Стахеевы, Загорье, усадьбы, Российская Империя]

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Dmitry Stakheev. Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, усадьбы, Российская Империя]

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A mock duel. Dmitry Stakheev, Alevtina Krestovnikova, and Alexander List. Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, Крестовниковы, Александр Густавович Лист, усадьбы, дуэли]

DV009-045

A mock duel. Dmitry Stakheev, Alevtina Krestovnikova, and Alexander List. Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, Крестовниковы, Александр Густавович Лист, усадьбы, дуэли]

DV009-023

Alexander and Timofey Krestovnikov in theater costumes. Park in the Zagorye Estate, Russia, 1900s [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Загорье, Крестовников, усадьбы, Stakheev]

098

Hotel Rheineck and Old Bridge over the Rhine. Bonn, Prussia. n.d. Dmitry Stakheev might have taken this picture when he studied agriculture in Bonn, Germany. [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Бонн, Пруссия, Rheinbrücke, Stakheev]

A0168

Three buggies in a steppe. Agishevo, Russia, 1900s [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Агишево, Тамбовская губерния, Stakheev]

A0083

St. Nicholas Church, haystacks, and windmills. Village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Никольская церковь, Пертово, Тамбовская губерния, Stakheev]

A0152

Milkmaids. Dmitry Stakheev's estate, village of Agishevo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s [дмитрий стахеев, агишево, тамбовская губерния, усадьбы, доярки]

A0169

Farm grounds, hay barns, and the lookout tower. Agishevo, Russia, 1900s Source: photo. [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Агишево, Шацк, Тамбовская губерния, усадьбы, Stakheev]

A0177

Locals on a ferry. Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s. Source: photo. [Стахеевы, Тамбовская губерния, Российская Империя]

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Cabbage field, windmill, and the starch factory (?). Agishevo, Russia, 1900s [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Тамбовская губерния, мельницы, капуста, Российская империя]

A0191

Children of Dmitry Stakheev with a nanny. Morozov Estate in Trekhsvyatitelsky (Three Holy Hierarchs) Lane. Moscow, Russia. c. 1910. Source: film. [Стахеевы, усадьба Морозовых, Трёхсвятительский переулок, Москва, дети, снег]

A0174

Local fishermen. Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s [Дмитрий Иванович Стахеев, Тамбовская губерния]

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Hunters with killed wolves. Ivan Kareev (3rd left). Village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s [Стахеевы, Иван Леонидович Кареев, Пертово, Тамбовская губерния, охота на волков]

A0121

A bear hunt, village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia. Ivan Kareev (with a gun), 1900s [Стахеевы, Пертово, Тамбовская губерния, Иван Леонидович Кареев, медвежья охота]

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After the hunt. Village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia. Early 20th c. [Стахеевы, Пертово, Тамбовская губерния, охота]

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Feeding the greyhounds. Village of Pertovo, Tambov Province, Russia, 1900s [ Стахеев, борзые, псарня, Пертово, Тамбовская губерния]

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A view into the park from the top story of the main house in the estate of Leonid Kareev. Pertovo (?), Tambov Province. Russia. Early 20th c. [Стахеевы, Леонид Кареев, Тамбовская губерния, Пертово]

A0194

Children of Dmitry Stakheev, Ivan (b. 1904) and Anna (b. 1907) with a governess (?) near the home of their grandparents, the Krestovnikovs, Pokrovsky Boulevard, Moscow, Russia. Early 1910s. Source: photo. [Стахеевы, Крестовниковы, Покровский бульвар, Москва]

He built a school for local children and hosted internships for students of the Moscow Agricultural Academy. Yet despite of his successes in business and a happy family life, Dmitry Stakheev, in his own words, "lived on a volcano." A smart and sensitive man, he understood the explosive political situation in Russia well.

When Russian Revolution of 1917 came, Dmitry abandoned his prosperous farming facility and moved into a small house in the nearby town with some furniture and a cow. His model farm was soon looted by the local farmers and his cattle slaughtered for meat, while the former owner worked as an ordinary agronomist in a local agricultural commune. This downgrading, no doubt, saved the life of a man, whose parents and wife, Sofia Stakheev-Krestovnikov, came from one of the richest families in the country.

The photos in this exhibition capture the still peaceful life of the Agishevo farm. They also show the artistic side of this extraordinary man, a talented photographer and a businessman, whose life spanned one of the most dramatic periods in the Russian history.

Photos: Provided by Maria M. KaverznevaThe archive of the Stakheev-Krestovnikov family.

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