Russian: mestechko (местечко)
English: minor town
The minor town had four distinguishing features:
- In ethnic terms, the inhabitants of a mestechko were generally Jewish.
- In social terms, the inhabitants of a mestechko were traders and/or craftsmen.
- In geographic terms, mestechka were located in the western provinces - those incorporated into the empire through the Partitions of Poland - and in the Caucasus.
- In administrative terms, in order for a settlement to be considered a mestechko, there must be an official meshchanstvo administration (мещанское управление) present.
At the time of the compilation of the Geographical Atlas, it was a slightly more fungible category. Piadyshev and company used the same symbol to designate the presence of a mestechko, posad, or ostrog. As a result, the minor town has a broad distribution across the atlas, with 1,066 locations spread over 40 provinces, from the Polish provinces all the way to Kamchatka.