Founded in 1618 by men from Tomsk as a Cossackostrog (fort) on the Tom River, it was initially called Kuznetsky ostrog (Кузне́цкий острог). It became the seat of Kuznetsky Uyezd in 1622.Kuznetsk (Кузне́цк) was granted town status in 1689. It was here that Fyodor Dostoevsky married his first wife, Maria Isayeva (1857).Joseph Stalin's rapid industrialization of the Soviet Union transformed the sleepy town into a major coal mining and industrial center in the 1930s. It merged with Sad Gorod in 1931. In 1931–1932, the city was known as Novokuznetsk and between 1932–1961 as Stalinsk (Ста́линск), after Stalin.