Saturday, July 10, 2021

Review of The Treeless Plain, by Glen Rounds

 Review of

The Treeless Plain, by Glen Rounds

Four out of five stars

Making do with what’s available

 When the people of the United States engaged in their inexorable push westward, in the states east of the Mississippi river there were plenty of trees for building homes and outbuildings. However, when the great plains were reached, the first thought was that it was uninhabitable by settlers. The first response was for the people moving west to travel all the way to Oregon rather than attempt to live in the plains.

 Yet, the desire for land was so great that people began homesteading on the prairie and were forced to use what was available for shelter. The first dwellings were nothing more than dugouts, dirt caves dug into the sides of small hills. Because there was little in the way of solid structure, the elements quickly led to their falling apart.

 An upgrade to this was the house made of sod. People discovered that blocks of sod made from the native prairie grass were easily stacked into walls and provided shelter from the heat and cold. The first houses had canvas sheets for doors and window, but the first improvements were a wooden door and a window made of waxed fabric.

 These advancements in the construction of homes are described in this book and is an illustration of human ingenuity. Wherever, humans establish permanent residence, the first dwellings are built from whatever is available at little to no cost. It is a good book about the westward movement of the American frontier, in that it demonstrates how one of the fundamental hurdles was overcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment