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Ejszyszki [Lithuanian name, Eisiskes]

A government-owned town in Lida powiat, 1 verst from the river Wersoka [Verseka], a tributary of the Mereczanka [Merkys]. It lies at 54 degrees 11' latitude, 25 degrees 00' longitude, 35 versts northwest of Lida and 80 versts fromWilno [Vilnius], with 2,616 inhabitants, mostly Jews, and 300 houses. Within the town are: the office of the second (state) police district, with one police precinct; the 3rd court of peace of the 2nd district (Lida);the administration offices of the gmina; a rural school; a post office, which handles correspondence of all sorts; and a Catholic parish church built of brick, a half verst from town. In the year 1866 the town had 135 houses and 715 inhabitants, of whom 610 were Jews, 89 were Catholics, and 16 were Orthodox; it also had 4 breweries, 2 tanneries, and a water mill.

Ejszyszki is famous for its Thursday country markets and its 4-day fairs, held twice a year. One is held on the feast of the Ascension; the people call it the szosniak ["6th one"] because it comes during the 6th week after Easter. The other is held on the feast of Corpus Christi, and is called "9th" because it takes place during the 9th week. The main objects traded in the country markets and fairs are pigs and horses. If one can rely on official accounts, in 1877,at both fairs, 13,947 rublesÍ worth of merchandise was sold, and the total brought in was 22,395 rubles. Besides the Jews, who control the townÍs commerce and pubs, the numerous gentry who live in the vicinity, in settlements restricted to the nobility, also prosperity, due to the previously mentioned trade in hogs and, to some extent.

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