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Karghin Memorial and Historical Complex

The Sholokhovs’ House

In 1919, the Sholokhovs moved to Stanitsa Karghinskaya and settled in the house on the outskirts of the stanitsa. The house was a typical building of the early XX century, the kind widely used in the Upper Don villages and stanitsas. The walls were made of adobe, the roof was covered with reeds.

In the house there is a “seni” (entrance barrack), a kitchen and two rooms. The interior is restored as that existed during 1924–1926. The seni (entrance barrack), typical of Cossack houses, was intended for keeping the house warm in cold seasons. The floor is made of clay-sand mixture. There is no ceiling, so the reed roof and the rafter system can be seen. The entrance barrack was also used for keeping things seldom used by the family in everyday life, drying herbs, maize, tobacco, viburnum, and other things.

The door of the entrance barrack leads to the kitchen, also with a clay floor. Most of the room is occupied by a Russian stove with a stove-bench. By the stove there is a kitchen stock of the cook: oven prongs, a poker, a handle for a frying-pan, a wooden spade for putting bread into the stove. Near it, on the wooden bench, there is a water pot for potable water. By the window there is a wooden table, a wall cupboard for dishware near it.

In the room of the parents of M.A. Sholokhov, there is a wooden bed, a dower chest for keeping things. On it, if necessary, they made a bed for sleeping or having a rest. In the front corner there is an icon and icon-lamp. On the table near the window there is a samovar, which was the centre of the table for the whole family gathering for tea.

The biggest room was called “gornitsa” (a sitting-room) or a “hall”. Here one can see a wooden bed with figured legs, a chest of drawers, chairs, and a rocking cradle, which appeared in the room, when the first daughter Svetlana, was born in February, 1926, to the Sholokhovs’ family. Also, there was a writing-table with drawers for the young writer. On the table one can see books, newspapers, journals and manuscripts of his early short stories. Sometimes, not waiting for delivery Sholokhov walked to Stanitsa Bokovskaya, 20 km from Karghinskaya, to get information about what was happening in the country and in the world.

Living in Stanitsa Karghinskaya Mikhail Alexandrovich kept in touch with the Moscow men of letters, published in the newspaper “Molodoy Leninets” (Young Leninist), in the journal of young peasants, in the magazines “Ogonyok”, “Smena”

and “Prozhektor”. In those periodicals his first short stories appeared: “A Shepherd”, “The Shibalkovs’ Kin”, “Nakhalyonok”, “Deadly Enemy”, “Alyoshka’s Heart”, and others.

The idea to write the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don” was born in Karghinskaya. The first pages of the novel “Donshchina” (“Don Country”, the initial title of the novel “And Quiet Flows the Don”) appeared there. Late in 1926, the Sholokhovs left Karghinskaya for Stanitsa Bukanovskaya.