The Dugout in the Side of a Hill

  When the pioneers began their conquest of the western prairie, they found materials for building shelters close at hand.Where timber was availabls, the settlers sometimes built log houses.Most prairie homes, however, were either sodhouses or dugouts.These houses could be built quickly and easily.

  The dugout was a room dug in the side of a hill.A few railsor posts were used to make a door frame and, possibly, a window.The front wall was made of pieces of sod or logs.Sloping back onto the hill was a roof made of poles or logs covered with a layer of brush, a layer of prairie grass, and a layer of dirt.

  As soon as a covered wagon halted at a new homestead, the head of the family took out his spade.The family lived in the wagon for the few days that it took him to build a dugout.

  山坡上的窝棚

  开拓者们开始征服(美国)西部大草原时,发现建造住所的材料近在咫尺。在有木料的地方,定居者们有时就建起了木房子。然而大多数草原上的住所,不是草皮屋便是山坡上挖成的窝棚。这些房子造起来快,又不费事。

  这种窝棚是在小山坡上挖成的一间屋子,用几根栏木或柱子搭一个门框,可能的话,再搭一个窗户。前面的墙则用草泥块或木头砌成。屋顶朝后倾斜,靠在小山上,用柱子或木头建造,上面盖一层柴枝、一层草原上的草和一层污泥。

  一旦一辆有篷马车在一块新宅地上停下来,一家之长便拿出铲子。在他建造窝棚的那几天里,全家人便都住在车上。