The Ingalls claim shanty complete with laundry hanging out on the line at the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota.
Pa built the families claim shanty in three stages.
Stage One – In the spring of 1880, he built a half-house of 140 square feet for his family of six. Laure described it as having a slanted roof.
Stage Two – In 1881, he added the second half, an addition of another 140 square feet. Laura wrote that the new part created two tiny bedrooms each with a window.
Stage Three – While attending the Iowa School for the Blind, Mary learned to play the organ. Pa and Laura worked and saved money to purchase a pump organ as a surprise for Mary’s homecoming.
Pa built a 12 foot by 16 foot addition to make room for the new organ. Once completed, Ma declared that the shanty was now a real home.
The reconstruction of the Ingall's claim shanty was built according to the description Pa provided in his proving up papers. Filling the Testament of Claimant forms was required to obtain ownership of a homestead claim.
Copyright 2017 Susan Rissi Tregoning
June 20th, 2017
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