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Karghin Memorial and Historical Complex

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

The Sholokhovs moved to Karghin Village in 1910, as Alexander Mikhailovich entered the service for merchant Ozerov, his elder sister’s husband.

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

In Karghin Village there functioned several mills with the biggest (a steam-mill) belonging to T.A. Karghin. In the village square, there monthly took place noisy fairs attracting people from the Upper Don stanitsas and villages, 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. Together with his friends he liked to climb up the sandy barrow, where they got a magnificent view of Karghin and its environs. Later Sholokhov described this barrow and the village, and its residents.

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

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

During his school years, Misha showed his outstanding abilities – inquisitiveness, wit and growing aspiration for knowledge. The great role in educating and upbringing little Misha was played by his father, Alexander Mikhailovich, a very gentle and intelligent person. He read a lot, subscribed to newspapers and journals, was interested in fiction, in the Russian State history, economy and agriculture. It was he, who instilled in his son a love for the book, for his mother-tongue. At the

age of 10 – 11, Misha read books by philosophers, discussed them and disputed with his father, which for the latter gave him a joking nickname “Spinoza”.

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

In 1920, the Soviet Power was set up in Karghinskaya (in 1918, Karghin Village became Stanitsa Karghinskaya). Mikhail Alexandrovich got into service at the local council of Stanitsa Karghinskaya, worked as teacher for adult education, accountant in the purchasing office.

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

The Sholokhovs left Karghinskaya in 1926.

The architecture of the Sholokhovs’ house bought by them in 1919, was typical for the Upper Don region of the early XX century: adobe walls, a reed roof. The house interior is reconstructed according to the period of 1924 – 1926. In 1985, it became one of the structures of the Museum-Reserve.