Many architecture researchers believe that the building of Ponosova-Mollo's Mansion on Karl Marx Street was designed by P. Guskov in early 20th century in Art Nouveau style. Others refer it to Eclecticism. Currently the building is occupied by the Museum of Archeology and Ethnography.
The name of the mansion's owner Yelena Ponosova-Mollo is connected with various legends. In 1900 her first husband Vasyly Ponosov, a hereditary honorary citizen, merchant and a large landowner, died. After that Yelena Ponosova, 27, became a rich widow and proved to be a vigorous and commanding owner. She hired a smart and sly manager who kept the books and reported to her. In the course of time four of her six land holdings were sold. Till the revolution Yelena Ponosova owned her Dyoma estate not far from Alkino railway station. She liked to spend her summers with children in this estate. The Dyoma estate had horse herds, because Yelena Ponosova owned a kumis (mare's milk) medical center. In the Soviet era it became a sanatorium for children.
All the arable and grass lands were leased out to local peasants. The descendants of these peasants still remember who owned the lands.
The legend says that Solon Mollo, the second husband of Yelena Ponosova, made her an impressive wedding present: the best stone mansion in the city, located at 4 Alexander Street. In reality it was she who bought it by installment from merchant Semyon Manayev. The deal was made in 1908-1909 when she was married to Mollo with four children. The mansion was purchased in her name.
The installments were made accurately. Even her break-up with Mollo did not prevent her from settling accounts with Minayev. Another 2,895 rubles were brought to the bank on October 3, 1917 just before the shot of cruiser Aurora which signaled the start of the Revolution.
Her sons had different fates. Boris Mollo served in the White army and was killed under Topornino on December 27, 1918. After the evacuation of Vrangel's army, where he served, Vasily Ponosov spent several years in Orel prison. During the repressions of December 1937 he was shot. Before going to Vladivostok and then to Harbin Vladimir was a Junker and participated in the retreat of Kolchak's army from the Volga to Lake Baikal. For that he was awarded a first class order "For the Great Siberian March" (silver crown of thorns with a golden sword on St. George's Ribbon). Vladimir bequeathed the order and its certificate to Yevgeny. Yevgeny was in correspondence with the elder brother Vasily. From London where he lived he sent to Ufa parcels with butter, coffee, chocolate and money.
Vladimir Ponosov became a famous anthropologist. From 1922 to 1961 he lived in Harbin. Then he went to Austria, the city of Brisbane, where he worked in a museum. Vladimir died in January 1975. Yevgeny Mollo managed to leave Russia. He lived in London and created a unique collection of the items of Russian military honor. Connoisseurs called it a "most unique personal collection in the world". Yevgeny believed that he collected Russian antique items because of his longing for home. On multiple occasions he tried to come back to Russia. He was married to an English lady with three sons.
On June 9, 1921 a Central Scientific Library was opened in the building (currently Z. Validy Library). In the 30-s of the 20th century it was occupied by the Revolution Museum and the Society of Old Bolsheviks. Since 1951 it was a House of Scientists, Presidium of the Bashkir Branch of Academy of Sciences, and Presidium of Ufa Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Today the building exhibits a famous collection of golden deers of a considerable size (approximately half a meter), phenomenal design and mysterious origin. They were extracted from a grave field near Filippovka village in the Southern Urals by the expedition of Pshenichnyuk.