Legends of names of the city parts - Yelaguin Island

In one of May nights of 1703 the group of Preobrazensky soldiers did recognizing on islands of delta of Neva.

Cautiously were Russian soldiers on a small, extreme islet to a beach. Any suspicious crash was heard.

Soldiers have stopped, took guns on a butt and began to peer at turning green bushes, trying to make out, where Swedes have hidden. Suddenly from the big tumbled down tree the enormous grey bear has risen with a roar.

"Faugh, you, a precipice, - were pulled out at one of soldiers, - thought the Swede to see, but into a bear have run. Means, this island not Swedish, and Mishkin". Either Mishin. Or Mihajlin.

These names also are fixed on cards of 1703. But the island has been rendered habitable long before the basis of Petersburg. On ancient Swedish and Finnish cards the fishing settlements and well-groomed kitchen gardens are noted. Эти названия и закреплены на картах 1703 года. Но остров был обжит задолго до основания Петербурга. На старинных шведских и финских картах отмечены рыбачьи поселения и ухоженные огороды.

The island had the name of Mistula-saari (the Bear island). Probably, this name has been given by the Finnish hunters, just as names of other islands of delta of Neva: Hare, Losinyj (nowadays Vasilevsky), Cat's (nowadays Kanonersky), Vorony (nowadays Pharmaceutical).

Peter's favourite diplomat P.P.Shafirov was the first owner of Mishin island. Then it owned P.J.Jaguzhinsky, P. Melgunov, G.A.Potyomkin, each of which tried to immortalise own name in the island name. But only ober-gofmaister of an imperial court yard Ivan Perfilevichu Yelagin (to whom the island has passed in 1777) managed it for a long time.

One of the most cultural people of that time, Yelagin was known for the riches, delicate art taste and hospitality. By his rule the park with regular and landscape sites has been constructed, channels and ponds with intricate outlines of coast are dug, bridges and arbours, grottoes and pavilions were built.

At Petersburg's high society the island used invariable popularity.

Yelagin island became the first town-planning ensemble given by Rossi in Petersburg, the first among the ingenious plans which have changed and defined for ever a subsequently classical shape of Northern Venice.

Source: Three centuries of St.Petersburg: Encyclopaedia