Ust-Tsilma is the oldest community on the territory of the Komi Republic. It was founded in 1542 by the Novgorod citizens Ivan, Lastka and Vlasok, who were later joined by people coming from Mezen, Pinega and Northern Dvina. In 1544 Ivan the Terrible released the Ust-Tsilma residents from taxes, which resulted in rapid colonization of the area. One of the reasons for the founding of the town was the discovery of copper and silver ores on the Tsilma river. To confirm the significance of the discovery, it will suffice to note that the Russian mint had to use imported rnetal up until that time. The first Russian copper and silver coins were made of metal produced in Tsilma. According to the historian Klucnevsky, the first Russian gold ruble was made of Tsilma gold.
Originally the village belonged to the Vychegda and Vym lands and was transferred to the district of Pustoozero. The mid-1540s, a wooden church was constructed there. Local residents practiced fishing, hunting and raising livestock. Farming was not too common. From the late 17th century to the early 18th century, Old Believers came here to escape the pursuit of the authorities. There were 1,040 residents in the village in 1782. Russian communities founded by those coming from Ust-Tsilma appeared nearby. The raising of livestock began to play a significant role in the economy, forming a basis for the production of meat and butter as commodities. Fairs were conducted every year - in July and November.
A stone church was built in 1845-1851. The Old Believers' parish was founded in 1856, and they built a wooden church the next year. Ust-Tsilma had been the center of the Pustoozero Uyezd since 1891, hosting the local authorities and institutions. In 1929 Ust-Tsilma became part of the Komi Autonomous Region. The first years of Soviet power in Ust-Tsilma saw the systematic persecution of the believers. Church books were burnt; icons were seized; and the church was converted into a cinema. When people were forced to join the Soviet farm collectives, they also were forced to sign a renunciation of God. Traditional clothes and holidays were prohibited. Despite all that, the traditions in Ust-Tsilma have been retained. Dressing up and Christmas-carol singing are still popular at Christmas. The Krasnaya Gorka holiday, which has become popular outside Ust-Tsilma, is celebrated every year. The Old Believers community is once again registered, and a meeting house has been built.