Dikson is 100 years old. Anyway, its history is not just a biography of a lonely dot on the administrative map of modern Siberia. It is the story how people and states met the Extreme North. It is much longer.
Ages ago in 11–12s centuries the Pomors, emigrants from Velikiy Novgorod, went "to all the ends of the icy cold high sea" to look for new fields and to trade with the Samoyedic peoples (also Samodeic peoples; the general name for the peoples living in the northern regions of Russia, who speak the Samoyed languages – Translator's note). At the beginning of the 17th century Mangazeya, which was the first Russian trans-polar fortress city, became the center of colonization of the great territory in the North of Siberia. Traders and yasak collectors (yasak was a kind of tribute in Imperial Russia exacted from the indigenous peoples of Russia, usually in fur – TN) went there for furs and walrus ivory. Later, in the 18–19s centuries the Russian and European seafarers made their ways to the North to find a better sea path between Europe and the Far East for trading. On 8th July 1875 the Sweden geographer and seafarer Nils Nordenskjold left the harbour in the city Tromso going by a small boat Preven and on 15th August came into a convenient harbour of a small island in the Yenisey bay. "I hope this harbour, which is empty now, will turn into an assembly place for lots of ships contributing the relationships not only between Europe and Ob and Yenisey river basins, but also between Europe and the North China",wrote Nordenskjold in his journal, noted the place on his sea maps and named the harbour "Dikson" after Oscar Dickson, the patron of his polar expeditions.
In the 20th century the North became a trading place of the USSR, as well as a place for field development and banishment, scientific researches and, of course, for building of new trans-polar cities and settlements. Among them Dikson was the capital of the Arctic. Different specialists such as meteorologists, builders, teachers, hydrographers, military service, polar pilots and radio operators went "to develop the North" from different parts of the Union. Today this Arctic settlement is going through a difficult period as well as most of other northern inhabited localities in Russia (Tiksi, Amderma, Khatanga, Igarka and other more).