Snow Houses




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By Dan Beard

In "the land of the midnight sun," the far arctic regions where Jack Frost rules supreme, where the glistening ice and thickly packed snow covers the landscape almost the whole year round, the hardy inhabitants live in huts built of frozen blocks of snow.  The interior of these icy dwellings are not, as might be supposed, uncomfortably cold, but, on the contrary, are quite warm and cozy. 

Boys who are inclined to doubt this may make the experiment for themselves.  After the first good old-fashioned snow storm has covered the playground, roads, and house tops, and while the merry jingle of the sleigh bells tinkles through the wintry air, let them busy themselves rolling huge balls of snow after the manner described in "Snowball Warfare," making the foundation of the house exactly in the same way as that described for the Snow Fort

The roof is made of boards or planks covered with snow.  A barrel placed over a hole in the roof, and surrounded by packed snow properly shaped, will make a very good chimney.  A pane of glass can be set in the square hole made for a window; a heavy piece of carpet can be hung from the ceiling over the doorway, so as to act as a curtain; or if the young work-people choose to take trouble enough, they can put up a framework inside of the doorway and hang a wooden door to it by leather or canvas hinges. 

An old stove, or a fire-place made near the wall under the chimney, adds a finish to the house that will be found quite snug and comfortable as long as the snow lasts.  The fire inside, if the weather be cold, will not melt the walls.  

The pictures of the house (Figs. 169 and 170) show so well how it is constructed, and how it looks when it is done, that very little explanation is necessary.  

The walls are made of large snowballs properly placed, with snow packed between them to make the surfaces tolerably even, and then the whole shaved down with a spade, outside and inside. 

It will be found impossible to put one tier of balls upon the top of the others by lifting them in place, but this difficulty may be overcome by sliding the balls up an inclined plane made of a strong plank, one end of which must be placed upon the ground and the other allowed to rest upon the top of the first or foundation row of snowballs.







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Last modified: October 15, 2016.