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Kruzhilin Memorial and Historical Complex

Kruzhilin Village is a typical Cossack settlement in the Upper Don region, the world-known native place of Mikhail Alexandrovich Sholokhov.

Sholokhov wrote in his autobiography: “I was born in 1905, May 24, in a village of Kruzhilin, Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya the Donetsk Region (the former Don Army Region)”. In Kruzhilin Village Sholokhov spent his first five years of life.

The writer’s father Alexander Mikhailovich, a descendant of the Sholokhov merchants, originated from a town of Zaraisk the Ryazan Region. He lived in Kruzhilin Village, worked as clerk for merchant Paramonov and was engaged in buying and reselling grain.

His mother, Anastasiya Danilovna, Chernikova by origin, was born and lived near Kruzhilin Village in a gentry’s estate of Yasenovka. Early in the XIX century, her forefathers were brought from the Ukraine, the Chernigov Region, by landowner Popov. Before her marriage Anastasiya Danilovna worked as housemaid in the Popovs’ house, where the future parents of Misha got acquainted. Alexander Mikhailovich took Anastasiya Danilovna to his place in Kruzhilin Village.

The founder of Kruzhilin Village is not known for certain: according to one version it was Grigory Kruzhilin, a sotnik, to the other – Kruzhilin brothers (Grigory, Zakhar, Ivan, Iona, Pyotr and Savva), Ivan Likhovidov and Ivan Chetverikov. The village foundation dates back to 1749.

In 1820, in Kruzhilin Village there were 20 estates, by the end of the XIX century there had already been 200 estates. Before the Revolution the village was governed by the elected ataman. The village residents were ascribed to the Trinity Church of Stanitsa Vyoshenskaya.

On May 3, 1881, the agents of Kruzhilin, Karghin-Kruzhilin, Maksayev and Yasenovka villages applied to Archbishop Donskoy and Novocherkassky with their petition about constructing a new church in Karghin-Kruzhilin Village.

In 1885, the church was built up and consecrated. It was made of wood on the stone foundation, having 12 bells (of which four weighed 12 poods), with a wooden fence. There was one altar – in the name of St.Nicholas the Wonderworker. In 1902, the mug income was 1319 rubles 23 kopecks.

The church with the guardhouse was located in the centre of the village, in the square. Near it there were stores, merchants’ shops and rich Cossack farmsteads. In 1904, a parish school was opened. This part of the village was called “stanichka” and it was most comfortable.

In the south the “stanichka” was adjoined by the Sholokhovs’ estate with a fine orchard, yard and outbuildings. Next to it, the estate of merchant Yeletskov was situated.