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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Bismarck in Burleigh County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Homes

Double Ditch State Historic Site

 
 
Homes Marker image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
1. Homes Marker
Inscription.  The Mandans, as well as the Hidatsa and the Arikaras, built dome-shaped houses of logs and earth, known as earthlodges. All that remains of the earthlodges on the surface are circular depressions. The men usually decided how large an earthlodge would be, and the women did most of the building. To build an earthlodge, wooden framework was erected, then covered with layers of willow branches, grass, and finally, earth. It took about 150 trees to build one earthlodge. Earthlodges typically were 35 to 45 feet in diameter, although they varied from 20 to 65 feet, and housed a family of eight to twenty people. They were built close together.

Photo captions:
Lower left: Artist's conception of how an earthlodge village may have looked
Upper right: Circular earthlodge
Lower right: Floor plan of a typical earthlodge home. A large communal fire pit marked the center of the house. Four large vertical posts formed a square around the fire pit. These central posts supported most of the weight of the roof of the house. The roof was also supported by cross beams between the posts and rafters spanning from

Circular depression of former earth lodge. image. Click for full size.
By Connor Olson, November 2, 2019
2. Circular depression of former earth lodge.
the center of the house to its outer margin, like spokes in a wheel. The perimeter of the roof was supported by a series of a dozen or so shorter vertical posts.
 
Erected by State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 46° 56.141′ N, 100° 54.004′ W. Marker is near Bismarck, North Dakota, in Burleigh County. Marker can be reached from North Dakota Route 1804. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bismarck ND 58503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Archaeological Excavations in 1905 (within shouting distance of this marker); Stone Shelter (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Double Ditch State Historic Site (about 400 feet away); Final Occupation of Double Ditch (about 400 feet away); Ditch 2 (about 600 feet away); Missouri River Resources (about 700 feet away); Square Buttes (about 700 feet away); Geophysical Prospecting in Archaeology (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bismarck.
 
Also see . . .  Double Ditch State Historic Site. (Submitted on August 11, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 45 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 11, 2020, by Connor Olson of Lemmon, South Dakota. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide shot of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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Jan. 27, 2021