Homestead of the national movement character Vincas Šlekys (1870–1946)

Vincas Šlekys-Stagaras was a Lithuanian book-spreader, journalist, editor and ethno-artist. He was born into a family of a wealthy farmer. His father taught him to read and write Lithuanian. In 1879–1882, he attended a Russian elementary school in Marijampolė. He continued to study at Marijampolė Gymnasium, participated in a secret Lithuanian circle and distributed the prohibited press. The parents’ offer to join the Seminary of Seinai priests was refused. In 1894, he started collaborating in the newspapers “Vienybė lietuvninkų “, “Varpas”, “Ūkininkas”, etc. In 1894, he set up a secret society  “Sietynas” to distribute Lithuanian press. He prepared the articles of the association, and since 26 March 1894 he was its chairman.

  After retiring, he returned to his native Mokolai village, collected old valuables, and organized an exhibition of kapsai folk art in Kaunas. This became the basis for the establishment of Marijampolė Museum of Regional Studies. V. Šlekys was considered its founder. On November 16, 1945, the Soviet occupiers arrested him and exiled him to Siberia.