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Karghin Memorial and Historic Complex

In Stanitsa Karghinskaya M.A. Sholokhov spent his childhood and adolescence. The beginning of the writer’s literary work, publication of his first books, conception of the novel  “And Quiet Flows the Don” are connected with this place.

The Sholokhovs moved to Karghin in 1910, as Alexander Mikhailovich took  to service with merchant Ozerov, his elder sister’s husband.

At that time the village numbered 260 estates. In the centre there was the Pokrovskaya Church with the belfry. The church had a parish school, a male and a female parochial schools.

In Karghin there functioned several mills, the biggest of them (a steam-mill) belonged to T.A. Karghin. In the village square busy clamorous fairs took place monthly, where people came from the Upper Don stanitsas and villages, as well as from Novocherkassk, Boguchar, Voronezh, Lugansk.

Misha, an active and lively boy, enjoyed watching village weddings, with his sinking heart he listened to Cossack songs, old men’s tales about the marches of the past and the tsarist service, he learned to ride on horseback, went in for fishing in the river Chir. With his friends he liked to climb up the Sandy Barrow, where a magnificent view of Karghin and its environs unfolded. Later Sholokhov would describe this barrow and the village, and its residents.

In 1911 the parents, to prepare their son for school, hired a teacher, T.T. Mrykhin, who trained little Misha in spelling and doing sums.

In 1912 Misha entered the male parochial school, and in two years his father took him to Moscow, where he went to school named after G. Shelaputin. Then he went to school in Boguchar and in Vyoshenskaya.

At school Misha developed his skills – inquisitiveness, wit, growing aspiration for knowledge. A great role in educating and upbringing little Misha was played by his father, Alexander Mikhailovich, a very gentle intelligent man. He read a lot, subscribed to newspapers and journals, was interested in fiction, the history of the Russian State, economy and agriculture. It was he, who developed love for books, for his mother-tongue in his son. At the age of 10-11 Misha read books by philosophers, discussed them with his father, disputed.

Unfortunately, the writer’s father deceased very early (in 1925) having seen only the first story of his son. A.M. Sholokhov was buried in the Karghin stanitsa’s cemetery.

In 1920, in Karghinskaya (in 1918 the village of Karghinskiy became a stanitsa) the Soviet Power was set up. Mikhail Aleksandrovich got into service at the Karghinskiy stanitsa’s Council, worked as teacher for adult education, accountant in the purchasing office.

In the May of 1924 Sholokhov brought his young wife to Karghinskaya. They settled in a big room of the parental house, which Mikhail Aleksandrovich used as a study. Sholokhov’s early literary work is connected with Karghinskaya: here he wrote most of “The Don Stories” and the first pages of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”.

The Sholokhovs left Karghinskaya in 1926.

The Sholokhovs’house which they bought in 1919, was of a typical Upper Don architecture of the early XX century: adobe walls, a rush roof. The reconstructed interior of the house realizes the period of 1924-1926. In 1985 it became one of the structures of the Museum-Reserve.