History of Zeimelis from the Lithuanian Encyclopedia
 "Tarybu Lietuvos Enciklopedija, 1988"

Given to Barry Mann in 1999, by the Mayor of Zeimelis, Algirdas Budnikas.

     Area 1630 hectares. Ash groves make 42%, birch groves make 28%, asp 
groves make 10%, fir groves make 9%, alder groves make 10%, pine groves 
make 1%. There are many large hoofed animals. It is the largest forest in
Lithuania where ash groves prevail.

     A small town in Pakruojis region, 24 kilometers to the east of Joniskis,
4 kilometers from the Latvian border, a center of a country-side district, 
the central settlement of the kolkhoz "Komunaras"[Communard]. 
1302 residents (in 1987). Berztalis (a left tributary of the Yslykis) flows 
through Zeimelis. Roads to Kriukai, Bauske (Latvia), Salociai, Linkuva. 
A mill, a repairs workshop of agricultural machinery, a forestry, a center 
of everyday services, a post-office, an out-patients department (since 1947);
in 1947-62 there were also a hospital and maternity home), a chemist's shop 
(since 1860), a secondary school (since 1945), a secondary vocational 
technical school (since 1951), a zone cultural center (founded in 1956), a 
library (since 1944). Monuments of culture: 2 historical (a burial-ground of 
Soviet soldiers grave of a local ethnographer Juozas Sliavas),10 
archaeological (the Zeimelis burial-ground and a mound, 8 stones with 
hollows), 1 monument of architecture and one urbanistic monument,
3 monuments of art (in the church). An archaeological find was a stone 
grinded axe with a tapered butt (in the public museum).

       The old part of Zeimelis is one of the most original urbanistic 
monuments of Lithuania; it is protected by the state; a network of 
streets plan of the square and volumetric spatial composition, a 
narrow crossing of streets at the north-eastern corner of the 
square, the way of building the town fragments of the building and a 
view. The plan of the town is rectangular (it became such after the 
reconstruction in the middle of the 17th century; till then the plan 
of the central part was radial; elements of that plan are 
left). Volumetric spatial composition formed virtually till the end of 
the 19th century. At the crossroad of 4 main streets there is a 
rectangular square. To the South from it there are Catholic (1828) 
and Evangelical-Lutheran (built in 1786-93,broadened in 1889-90) 
churches. There are buildings of regional architecture that are 
characteristic to the north-western Lithuania. Prospects of the 
streets converging to the center are closed; there are many trees in 
the square and streets. A monument of architecture an ensemble of two 
former taverns: the classical Big tavern and the Little tavern, built 
in folk architecture style (both were built in the 2nd half of the 
18th century-beginning of the 19th century, restored in 1985).

     Zeimelis was mentioned in 1500 (there was an estate). It originated 
at the Ziemgaliai [a Baltic tribe] mound. In 1540 there was built an 
Evangelical-Lutheran church and about 1595-an Evangelical-Reformist 
church; in 1592-1674 there was an Evangelical-Reformist school (reha-
bilitated in 1866). In 1542 a borough was mentioned, in 1586-a small 
rural district. About 1600 a department of Kaunas custom-house was 
established; in 1613 a privilege of 2 [yearly] fairs was granted. In 
1828 a Catholic church was built. In 1866 or 1867 a governmental 
primary school was founded (since 1907 there were 2 classes). In 1888
Zeimelis was on fire. From the end of the 19th century to 1915 
Zeimelis was a center of Nociunai rural district, from 1919 to 1950 
a center of Zeimelis rural district. In 1905 Vincas Kapsukas [a 
Lithuanian communist leader] lived here and organized strikes of 
agricultural workers in the district. At the end of 1918 a rural 
district revolutionary committee of Lithuanian Communist Party was 
organized and a rural district council was elected. in 1917 a narrow-
gauge railway was built (disjoined after the World War II). In 1920-
29,1931-35 (and later on till 1945) there was a Progymnasium [not full 
gymnasium,4-6 classes]. In 1937 there was established a winter 
agricultural school. In 1931-37 there was a Latvian secondary school. 
In 1941-42 Hitlerites (Lithuanian Collaborators) killed many inhabitants 
of Zeimelis. In 1754 there were 52 families; in 1780 there were 258, 
in 1897 there were 1266, in 1923 [there were] in the town 1209 in the 
estate 95, in 1959 in the town 1098, in 1970-1325, in 1979-1679 residents.

Literature: Zeimelis//Tarybu Lietuvos Enciklopedija,1988

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