Living Below Ground – Laura Ingalls Wilder Style

Since this blog is supposed to be primarily about basement living, I thought I could look at different ways of living below ground is found in literature and art. When I initially thought of doing this, my mind immediately went to the dugout in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book On the Banks of Plum Creek (the fourth book in the popular Little House on the Prairie series). Built by a Norwegian settler named Mr. Hanson, the dugout was located on the banks of Plum Creek, near Walnut Grove, Minnesota. The Ingalls family lived there between 1874 and 1876, after moving away from the prairies and the dangers associated with their time there.



As a child, I remember being enchanted with the idea of living under a grassy knoll. From the description in the book the interior walls were whitewashed and the only natural light came from the one window that was set far into the earthen wall, as Wilder explains, “But the wall was so thick that the light from the window stayed near the window.” While I know my wee basement apartment will not have the charm of living as Laura Ingalls did in a handmade dugout, I like the idea of associating basement living to one of my favourite childhood books. Hopefully the lighting situation will be better in my new place . . .


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