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70 Years Ago the Sholokhovs Moved into a New House at the Estate

14.01.2019

On January 1940, the big and friendly Sholokhov family moved into a new house in the centre of Vyoshenskaya. It was built instead of the house with a mezzanine destroyed during the bombardment of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya on July 8, 1942, and could not be restored.

Sholokhov family was big: Mikhail Alexandrovich and Mariya Petrovna, their children – Svetlana, Alexander, Mikhail, Mariya, their relatives Antonina Ivanovna and Pyotr Ivanovich Yatsynenko, a cook Anna Antonovna Dolgova and a nurse Darya Alexandrovna Beketova.

Mariya Petrovna, the writer’s wife, remembered: “I think everyone knows the feeling when having nothing you suddenly get a good thing or something necessary. <…> You can understand the feeling we experienced, when we moved into a new house after the war: we had our dwelling and did not need to rent a flat. <…> In the new house we had broad opportunities, Mikhail Alexandrovich had two studies. <…> Our family grew every year, we got grandchildren, great grandchildren… Our children went to the universities. On their holidays they never wanted to go anywhere, but only to Vyoshki…”

The construction of the house was started in 1946, according to the decree of the USSR Council of People’s Commissars № 549, of March 10, 1946, “On the Events of Cottage Building for the Full Members of the USSR Academy of Sciences” and the appropriate order of the USSR Academy of Sciences of March 18, 1946, which provided for the construction of cottages for the academicians who made a great contribution in the victory over fascism in the Great Patriotic War. One of them was Mikhail Alexandrovich. The writer was allowed an opportunity of building for the money allotted by the government not a country house near Moscow or Leningrad, but a dwelling house in Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya instead of the one destroyed during the war.

The construction was carried out during 1946–1949, by the Construction Office of the CPSU Central Committee and the trust “Rostoblselstroy” by the project of the Rostov architect V.V.Barinov based on the typical country house project supplemented with decorative elements.

The money allotted for the construction was not enough as building materials were to be transported to a long distance, and to complete the works

M.A.Sholokhov took a cash loan at the Office of Affairs of the CPSU Central Committee and paid it off until 1974.

In this house the writer spent his mature, fruitful years of his life. Here he recreated the second book of the novel “Virgin Soil Upturned” lost during the Great Patriotic War, wrote a short story “The Fate of a Man” and to the last years of his life worked over the novel “They Fought for Their Country”. It is here that Sholokhov was visited by the Soviet and foreign writers, publishers, prominent figures in different fields of science and labour. From this house the writer set out for his important business and tourist trips around the country and abroad, appealed with various requests for the improvement of his native country and help to the countrymen, here he received numerous visitors.

Seeing the writer’s house one of the Museum visitors noted: “Nobody can reproach the host of this house of his trying to be modern at all costs. Everything is simple and convenient. And the furniture necessary for life and work shows that here lives a person, for whom dwelling is not a repository of valuables, but a home, where he returns from his trips and long travels…” It was so.

In this house Mikhail Alexandrovich lived 35 years. He died on February 21, 1984. The writer was buried near the house, in the southern part of the estate.

After the death of M.A.Sholokhov the house and the estate were included into the structure of the Museum, and in 1987, the writer’s family donated the house to the state for free.

 

Yelena Popova