Dave sent me the information about these photos that are on a really cool site of historical pictures called Shorpy Historic Archive.
Dugout house of homesteaders Faro and Doris Caudill with Mount Allegro in the background. Pie Town, New Mexico. The Caudills at dinner. 35mm Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee.
Before industry and technology gave us sawmills and frame houses, this is how the average person lived in much of the world. The dugout or pit house, with sod roof, log walls and earthen floor, is among the most ancient of human dwellings — at some point in history your ancestors lived in one.
Especially popular among 19th-century settlers in the Great Plains and deserts of the West and Southwest, where trees and other building materials were scarce, dugouts were warmer in winter and cooler in summer than above-ground structures; just about anywhere in North America the ground temperature three feet down is 55 degrees regardless of the season.
October 1940. “Mr. Leatherman, homesteader, coming out of his dugout home at Pie Town, New Mexico.” View full size. 4×5 Kodachrome transparency by Russell Lee. Another example of the dugout-style structure used for the homesteader dwellings and church in the Dead Ox Flat photos.
Photo Credit and text: Shorpy
by Kent Griswold (Tiny House Blog)
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