According to official data, the city was founded in 1586. At this time the Tsar Fyodor Ivanowitch ordered to build a wooden fortress.
This fortress was mentioned in the documents as Samarskiy gorodok and was meant to watch over the waterway from Kazan to Astrakhan and help by defence of the eastern Russian borders against nomads.
In 1600, a customs was established.
Samara got its name approximately in the beginning of 17th century.
In 1670, Stepan Razin lead his troops into the city. Two years later Samara turned into the chief town of a uyezd, also a bordering military base. The city gained its place in the trade with eastern countries. Samara city was attached to the Kazan district in 1708, in 1717 to the Astrakhan district and to the Simbirsk province afterwards. The city welcomed the rebels headed by Yemelyan Pugachov in 1773, and became out-of-the-way town in the period since 1773 to 1980. Since 1780 Samara has been an uyezd town of Simbirsk Governorate, which turned into a Simbirsk province in 1796. The Uyezd and Zemstvo, City Council, Courts of Justice, Nobility Guardianship and a Board of Treasury were established in Samara. According to the General plan of buildings dated 1782 to 1786, the city territory was divided in rectangular blocks.
Some streets were built parallel to the Volga channel, other lead to the river.
Samara became an administrative center of Samara district in 1851. At that time the population was estimated at 15 000 people. There were more than 2500 houses, ten churches, 322 stores, also about 30 small factories, such as tanneries, brick plants, tallow-boileries. There were also several small weaving mills manufacturing silk and juft, Russian leather.
Grain, tallow, wool, horses, leather, cattle, camel cloth had been sold during three yearly organized fairs. The port of Samara welcomed up to thousand cargo ships every year.
Public health services have been developed at that time. The City had Zemstvo’s hospital with maternity hospital, a mental hospital, an orphanage, bacteriological laboratory and station, almshouse, boarding school and medical and obstetrical school. A gymnasium, a theological seminary and other schools.
The Orenburg railway has found its way through the city in 1877. Flour-grinding industry developed drastically. Samara was one of the biggest Russian grain-milling centres.
In the end of 19th century, the population reached 90 thousand, and to 1916 it increased to 150 thousand.
Soviet government overtook the power in Samara in October (November) 1917. In the next June, the Soviet power was overthrown by the rebel group supported by Czechoslovakian troops. The entire supremacy of the Soviet power occurred in October 1918.
Samara received the status of administrative centre of Middle Volga Region (Srednevolzhskaya oblast), which has been reorganized into the Middle Volga land (Srednevolzhskiy kray) in the next year. The Samara city was renamed in Kuybyshev after the revolutionary and Soviet politician Valerian Vladimirovich Kuybyshev (Russian: Валериа́н Влади́мирович Ку́йбышев). A year later the Region itself was renamed after him in Kuybyshev Region (Kuybyshevskaya oblast).