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How an American from an eccentric rich woman became a researcher of Ukrainian and Belarusian Polesye



Louise Boyd studied the terrain of Greenland, created her maps, discovered oceanic ridges and became the first woman to fly over the North Pole. Among all these unique places on the trip, there was one more - Ukrainian and Belarusian Polesye.

Photo: Wikipedia / Anders Beer Wilse - Galleri NOR, public domain

For two months an American traveled in her car through the Galician and Polissya cities,

Louise was born in 1887, California, in a wealthy family. The father of the future traveler owned a gold mine, says Tatyana Yacechko-Blazhenko in a blog Browser. At the age of 33, Louise Arner Boyd became the owner of a multi-million dollar fortune and was one of America’s richest women. Louise organized her first expedition to the Arctic in 1924.

By the way, in 1937-1938, an American was actively exploring Greenland and the depths of the ocean at the northeast tip of Norway. Boyd became the third woman in the world who was awarded the Cross of St. Olaf (the Order is awarded for outstanding services to Norway and humanity).

Boyd chartered Hobby, a freighter of the Norwegian city of Tromso, for her sea trips. Photo: Wikipedia / Olav Sæther, Public Domain

In the midst of World War II, an American woman received an assignment from the American government. The researcher had to study in detail the magnetic field of the North Pole, since international sessions of radio communication "Europe - USA" passed through this region of the Earth. Boyd successfully coped with the task and prepared a report on the possibility of equipping a military airfield.

During her trip to Ukraine, the researcher traveled in her own Packard car; most of the photos of Lutsk, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Dubno, Kremenets and other cities of Western Ukraine were just taken from the interior of this car.

Nowadays, the American is included in the TOP-10 of the world's pioneers. By her actions, the woman proved that money can serve science and good. She created a world famous photo collection of Pinsk - Belarusian - Polesye, but her photo, where we can see Ukraine in 1934, has not yet been published on the Internet.

The researcher stayed in Polesie for a month: from the end of September to the end of October 1934. Her path ran from Peremyshl to Lviv, and further to Dubno, Lutsk, Kovel Kobrin, Pinsk, Nesvizh and Vilna.

The result of the trip was the publication in 1937 in New York of the photo album "Polish Countrysides" and, undoubtedly, the discovery of Polesie for the whole world in all its versatility, originality and originality. In 1984 in Milwaukee (USA) the exhibition “Poleshchuk through the Eyes of Louise Boyd” was held with tremendous success, which was exhibited in Poland three years later.

Map of Polesia. Photo: Wikipedia / Poeticbent, own work, public domain

And if in previous expeditions she was mostly interested in nature, then her camera aimed at people and their life. And in Lviv, Louise was most interested in the usual bazaar.

She just walked between people and chose the most colorful characters (chickens, calf). Here are thrush and florists, who were embarrassed by the attention of foreign guests. Loaded carts and counters, on which the goods are folded into wicker baskets.

In Zolochiv, the rich traveler was again drawn to the local market, because he better conveys the character of the city. And in Drohobych her attention was attracted by a unique wooden church. From Galicia the woman moved north to Polesia and was fascinated by this swampy edge. Dubno, Lutsk, Kovel, and then the towns, which are now located on the territory of Belarus.

In her diary, Louise described what she saw, this is how she wrote about local Poleschuk: “Usually swamps are described as something extreme, flat and monotonous, I did not see this here, since my main goal was only the locals ... Living on waterways or among them, they create a kind of ethnic core that distinguishes these people from others ”.

Boyd wondered how many years it would take for Polesye to change, the hard life of the Poleshchuk, the development of infrastructure, the improvement of working conditions? The American was amazed at the number of children who walk barefoot, dirty, but look healthy and happy.

Louise's many travels ate up a large part of her multi-million dollar fortune, and the unsuccessful investments brought him to nothing. In the end, she even had to sell the family house in San Rafael and all the furniture. A well-known researcher died in her old age at 85, 14, 1972, September, in San Francisco.

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