The prairie home

Since there was a plentiful supply of poplar trees on all the homesteads the natural building material was logs, and they were used in all the houses. Some were built as lean-to’s [sic], and others had gable ends where the logs were trimmed and pinned together with wooden pegs. At first there were no shingles for roofing so small logs were smoothed on one side and laid close together, then thatch was carefully placed over this.

This thatch was long coarse grass which grew plentifully around the big sloughs. Some times sod was used but not so commonly as it had to be renewed more often and also let the rain in. If there was an upstairs, it was low, and to reach it, stakes were fitted into logs in one corner of the house. We would now call it a ladder! After the sawmill was started in 1880 the gable ends of the houses were made of lumber if the homesteader could afford it.

Minnedosa Women’s Institute, A History of Minnedosa, 1878-1948 (1948).

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Bruce Wishart
Whimsies. Sometimes about writing.
Sometimes about folklore. Sometimes
about the sea, or life on the coast.
And sometimes not.