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Kruzhilin Memorial and Historic Complex

The Sholokhovs’ Parental Estate

The Sholokhovs’ house, where the would-be writer was born, had been built in the 70-s of the XIX century. Before Alexander Mikhailovich, Misha’s father, bought it in 1898, it belonged to the deacon of the local church.

The house is a typical Cossack kuren under a reed roof: the windows have platbands, upstairs there are three rooms (a hall, a bedroom, a chamber), under the house there is a semi-basement dwelling called “nizy” by Cossacks.

The household articles and furniture reflect the Sholokhovs’ everyday life at the beginning of the XX century. The largest room is a chamber, “gornitsa”, which Alexander Mikhailovich used as a study. Here he worked, received guests, read books, newspapers, journals he was subscribed to. He was interested in the history of the Russian State, economics, agriculture, he liked classic literature, the works by Pushkin, Tolstoy, Nekrasov, Chekhov. It was Alexander Mikhailovich who engrafted Misha with his love for reading.

In the semi-basement dwelling there is a big Russian stove, which heated the rooms and was used for cooking. Here it was warm in winter and cool in summer, and the whole family had meals and were engaged in various household work. The stove-couch, warm and spacious, was used for the children to sleep (in the house at that time the sister of Alexander Mikhailovich, Serghina Olga Mikhailovna, lived with her children). Misha became a good friend with his cousins and played with them.

In the estate there is a big orchard, a bath-house, a barn for grain, an outbuilding-stable, where there was a coal-tar room, ice-house, chaff-room, the stable itself and a shop.

The father of the would-be writer was an educated, prominent man in the village. The Cossacks respected him for his simplicity, sociable disposition and intellect. The people came to him with their troubles and needs, and “Mikhalych” helped his countrymen with his advice, wrote letters, solicitations. In the first room of the bath-house, where he had his writing table, a chair, benches, Alexander Mikhailovich received his visitors, carried on his business affairs, kept his accounts. Serving as bailiff “on farming” for a grain industrialist and manufacturer Paramonov, Sholokhov bought up grain from Cossacks and sent it to Bazki grain collecting site of Paramonov, acted as a go-between for landowner Popov in the matters of cattle sale and purchase, attended to his own commercial business. In the shop of “Mikhalych” there were on sale hardware goods, fabrics, grocery, toilet articles and clothes.

In 1910, the Sholokhovs moved to Karghin Village and the estate was sold to a merchant’s wife Shutova, and in 1928 the house was passed into the property of the country Council.

In 1984, the Sholokhovs’ house and estate entered the structure of the Museum-Reserve and now it is one of the most popular sites.