Nebraska City in Otoe County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Earth Lodge Villages
The Otoe and Missouria people who lived in this area in the 1700s and 1800s built villages with small groupings of earth lodges. Like the Omahas, Poncas and Pawnees who lived in Nebraska and Kansas, and Mandans, Arikawas and Hidatsas in the Dakotas, their earth lodges were permanent structures.
A framework of heavy timber posts supported the circular, dome-shaped structures, with a covering of poles, prairie grass, and sod providing strength and insulation from heat and cold. In the summer, they constructed arbors to provide shade, and scaffolds to dry meat, vegetables and firewood.
Nearby were family garden plots, where women and children sowed and harvested corn, beans, watermelon, tobacco and pumpkins.
For brief trips in the spring and summer, and during buffalo hunts, they traveled with their "mobile homes" made of poles and animal skins, known as tipis.
[Inset photo caption reads] Earth lodges such as the replica lodge constructed here would have been home to 20 to 25 people, plus a few prized ponies.
Left, Pe'Dagahi and his wife at Omaha Earth Lodge Home, 1869.
Photo by William Henry Jackson, Nebraska State Historical Society, RG1289-20-01.
[Background] Illustration by Linda S. Meigs, 2013.
Erected 2013 by National Park
Location. 40° 40.054′ N, 95° 49.917′ W. Marker is in Nebraska City, Nebraska, in Otoe County. Touch for map. Marker is at the end of the Earth Lodge Trail, which begins at the Lewis & Clark Missouri River Visitors Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 Valmont Drive, Nebraska City NE 68410, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Barge / Keelboat (replica) (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hunter, Watchdog and Faithful Friend (about 600 feet away); The Missouri River (about 700 feet away); Steam Wagon (approx. 1.1 miles away); First United Methodist Church Original 1855 Wall (approx. 1.6 miles away); Mother Church of Methodism in Nebraska (approx. 1.6 miles away); Mother Church of Nebraska Methodism (approx. 1.6 miles away); Pioneer Masons of Nebraska Territory (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Nebraska City.
Also see . . .
1. Otoe-Missourias in Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. (Submitted on July 23, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Lewis & Clark Missouri River Basin Visitors Center. (Submitted on July 23, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Environment • Man-Made Features • Native Americans •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 548 times since then and 87 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 23, 2013, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.