The dacha complex was founded on the impetus of Maxim Gorky, and its famous residents have included:
- Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago
- Isaac Babel, a giant of Russian Jewish prose, known for his Odessa Tales
- Ilya Ilf, of the Ilf & Petrov duo, famous for humorous stories like The Twelve Chairs, made into a 1970 Mel Brooks film
- poets Bella Akhmadulina, Andrei Voznesensky, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko
- singer-songwriter-poet Bulat Akudzhava
Pasternak died there in 1960 after being hounded by a vicious, state-orchestrated media campaign against Doctor Zhivago for its criticism of Leninism and Stalinism. He was forced to decline the 1958 Nobel Prize for the work, but the committee insisted on awarding it in absentia. Authorities tried to keep his funeral a secret, but hundreds of his admirers showed up to recite his poetry at the grave site.