Many homesteaders, men and women, hired
someone else to take care of the difficult task of breaking up the sod. Here Pauline
oversees the first breaking on her claim along the Knife River, by a neighbor, Bill
Backfish (at the plow).
Sophie (on the far right) is seated with a group of her friends who were also homesteaders. Her shack was typical, a small, frame structure covered with tarpaper. The stacks of sod provided insulation and stability. Dimensions measured around 12 by 14 feet. For the most part, the shacks were temporary dwellings. If the homesteaders successfully "proved up" and stayed, they usually added to the shack or constructed a larger home.
(Courtesy: Amy Baska, Minot)
for Regional Studies