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Kruzhilin Memorial and Historical Complex

Parental Estate of M.A. Sholokhov

The Sholokhovs’ house, the birthplace of the would-be writer, was built in the 70s 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 with platbands, upstairs there are three rooms (a hall, a bedroom, a chamber), in the basement of the house there is a lower ground floor dwelling called “nizy” by Cossacks.

The household articles and furniture reflect the Sholokhovs’ everyday life early in the XX century. The biggest room is a chamber called “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 was fond of classic literature, the works by Pushkin, Tolstoy, Nekrasov, Chekhov. It was Alexander Mikhailovich who inculcated in Misha a love for reading.

In the lower ground floor 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 it was here that the whole family had meals and was engaged in various household works. The stove-couch, warm and spacious, was used for children to sleep (in the house at that time, the sister of Alexander Mikhailovich, Serghina Olga Mikhailovna, and her children lived). Misha was 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, stables and outbuildings including a coal-tar room, an ice-house, a chaff-room and a shop.

The father of the would-be writer was an educated, prominent person in the village. The Cossacks respected him for his artlessness, 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 commercial business affairs, kept his accounts. Serving as clerk “on farming” for a grain industrialist and manufacturer Paramonov Sholokhov purchased grain from Cossacks and sent it to Bazki grain collecting site of Paramonov, acted as a middleman for landowner Popov in the matters of livestock sale and purchase, attended to his own commercial business. The shop of “Mikhalych” sold hardware, household goods, fabrics, groceries, toilet articles and clothes.

In 1910, the Sholokhovs moved to Karghin Village and the estate was sold to Shutova, a merchant’s wife, and in 1928, the house became the property of the village council.

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