Ohio State School for the Blind bark house   Save
Ohio Guide Photographs
Description: Photograph of an American Indian bark house from a collection of models for the Ohio State School for the Blind. The bark house is similar to an Iroquois longhouse, but not as long. Among the tribes who lived in bark houses, or "lodges" were the Iroquois, Shawnee, Wyandotte, Delaware, Seneca, and Chippewa. Framework for the lodge was formed from stout poles, over which was placed an outer covering of bark, in horizontal strips, sewed on to the frame with bone punches and tough-fibered inner bark. In the spring, bark was peeled from elm trees, flattened by weights, and cut in sheets four by six or eight feet, before being used. A bark house structure was about 15 feet high at the ridge of the gable, just over 15 feet wide and sometimes 100 feet long or more. The roof rafters were reinforced with scores of small sapling poles and log "stingers" were used to anchor the bark on top of the roof. The inside of the bark house consisted of a row of bunks on each side of the lodge. Beds were formed with several layers of bark, covered with soft, hairy pelts. Chains of corn and fruit to be dried were strung on poles between the aisles. Firepits were placed in a prominent place in the aisle, where most of the cooking was done and light obtained at night. Smoke escaped from holes in the roof, that could be covered with bark panels when it rained. The lodge doorways were high and wide, and covered with an animal skin neatly laced to the door post. Model dimensions: length 40", width 20.5", height 17". Photographs and descriptions of models were included in the book "Models for the Blind," compiled by workers of the Ohio Writers' Program. The book was meant as a guide, to be used in the building and study of models, and as documentation of the achievements at the Ohio State School for the Blind. The models were a result of research, design and construction by employees of the Works Projects Administration. Models were made of durable materials to withstand regular usage. The average cost of labor for larger models was $45. A special room was built to store the models where teachers could borrow them to be used in classroom instruction. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: SA1039AV_B11F02_052_001
Subjects: United States. Work Projects Administration; Blind--Education--Ohio; Ohio State School for the Blind; Indians of North America--Dwellings
Places: Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)