Rural Architecture and Material CultureA Bibliography by Tom Isern and Tricia Velure
You can get information on historic architecture and architectural styles from many sources. For instance, this site has links to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and that site includes a helpful bibliography. Working in rural Bowman County, however, we realized that we often were dealing with structures that had little to do with high architecture and were not much treated in the standard sources on architectural style. So we began compiling a list of good sources for the interpretation of rural architecture and material culture, which we offer here. This bib is by no means exhaustive, but we post it because others might find it useful, and because we welcome suggested additions. One more caveat: This bib emphasizes the material culture of the plains, and is less concerned with other regions.
Baird, W. David. "Cathedrals of the Plains: The Grain Elevators of Western Oklahoma," Chronicles of Oklahoma 70 (Spring 1992): 4-25. This excellent survey of types and construction techniques derived from a series of National Register nominations by Baird.
Barton, O.A. Poultry Houses for North Dakota. North Dakota Extension Circular 52. July 1922. Barton gives advice on where to locate the poultry house, including consulting the farm wife since she was the one caring for the chickens. He also offers general construction plans and suggestions. Illus. 8 pp.
Carter, Deane G. Farm Buildings. 4th Ed. New York: Wiley, 1954. This book is intended to be used as a textbook for a one-semester course in farm building for agricultural college students. It discusses the factors involved in planning and constructing all buildings on a farm. It emphasizes the arrangement of buildings for maximum efficiency, basic structural designs for flexibility in use, and new practices in elevated-stall milking, large-scale poultry housing, horizontal silos, and machine and equipment buildings. Maintenance and improvement issues are also addressed. Illus. 291 p.
Dolve, R.M. Barn Plans. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 97. May 1912. This article includes plans for livestock, poultry, pig, sheep, and horse barns. With standards in sanitation, convenience, modernity, and aesthetics in mind, it offers suggestions for floors, foundations, framing, windows, stalls, ventilation, and silos. Illus. 57 pp.
Edgar, Alfred, and Thomas E. Long. Insulation for Red River Valley Potato Storage. North Dakota Experiment Station Circular 71. June 1944. They highlight the many types of insulation as well as how to install it and determine the necessary thickness. They also discuss attic ventilation and ceiling construction. Illus. 6 pp.
Edgar, Alfred, and Thomas E. Long. Potato Storage for the Red River Valley. North Dakota Experiment Station Circular 70. June 1944. This circular describes the most important construction features of track storage, including conveyors, doors, condensing surfaces, posts and footings, and ventilation. Illus. 10 pp.
Edgar, Alfred, and Thomas E. Long. Ventilation for Red River Potato Storage Structures. North Dakota Experiment Station Circular 72. June 1944. This circular discusses temperature control issues and the installation of the ventilation system. Illus. 7 pp.
Etherton, William Alonzo. The Farmhouse Improved. Manhattan: Kansas State Agricultural College, 1917. This book contains recommendations on building and remodeling homes based on the ideals of protection and comfort. It suggests methods of keeping the house safe from heat and cold, wind and dust, rain and snow, lightning and fire, and filth and disease. It recommends locations for home fuel storage, water supply, and cooking and sewing equipment. Home aesthetics is also addressed. Illus. 88 p.
Graves, Harry A., and Donald Hoag. More Attractive Farmsteads. North Dakota Extension Circular A-91. October 1958. This circular discusses how to improve the appearance and convenience of farm yards through landscaping. It looks at driveways, trees and shrubs, and hedges or fences that separate the house yard and barn yard. Illus. 5 pp.
Gries, John M., and James Ford, ed. Farm and Village Housing. Washington, D.C.: The President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership, 1932. The President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership and the books its Committee on Farm and Village Housing produced sought to lay the groundwork for a movement toward better rural housing. The book explains how to use education and research to achieve higher standards in construction, remodeling, painting, ventilation, and safety. It also discusses the construction of Indian and migrant housing. Illus. 293 p.
Hamilton, C.L. Sewage Disposal for North Dakota Farm Homes. North Dakota Extension Circular 103. April 1931. Hamilton offers one of the most detailed discussions on sewage disposal that the Extension Service released. He considers every element in septic tank construction and maintenance. Unlike most others, he also includes sections on the kitchen sink drain, mixing and pouring the concrete for the septic tank, and providing for an inspection hole. Illus. 28 pp.
Heintz, Robert H. Farmstead Windbreaks. North Dakota Extension Circular H-497. October 1971. He discusses the benefits of farm windbreaks and suggests the size and location of plantings, the selection of species, and maintenance. Illus. 8 pp.
Hellevang, Ken. Hot Water Floor Space Heating. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-1014. February 1991. He discusses the uses of hot water heating in agricultural buildings such as machine shops, livestock and poultry buildings, and honey houses. He also explains the design and installation of both floor and space heating systems. Illus. 11 pp.
Henderson, Arn, and Thomas D. Isern. "Wooden Silos of the Southern Great Plains," Pioneer America Society Transactions 8 (l985): 1-9. This article discusses examples of the timber-crib variety and the wood-stave variety.
Hirning, Harvey J. Minimum Facilities for Beef Cattle Production. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-986. January 1990. This circular discusses the farmstead's needs in fencing, buildings, corrals, and watering and feeding equipment. It illustrates particularly well how to build fences, straw buildings, corrals, and feeders. 15 pp.
Hoag, Donald. Landscape Your Home. North Dakota Extension Circular A-388. March 1969. Hoag discusses where to locate trees, shrubs, fencing, and patios around the farm house. Illus. 12 pp.
Hofman, Vernon, and Charles Moilanen. Farm Shop. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-85. April 1976. This circular offers suggestions for shop planning, location, size, type, insulation, ventilation, heating, windows, electricity, storage of fuel and tools, and safety. Building plans are included for a shop, tool cabinet, and work bench. 17 pp.
Hofman, Vernon, and Hellevang. Planning Farm Shops. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-1066. March 1994. They discuss where to locate the shop on the farmstead as well as the shop's space, layout, insulation, electricity, lighting, ventilation, and heating. They offer suggestions for tool benches, parts storage, office location and layout, and fire prevention. Building plans are included. 11 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W. Farmstead Planning. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-76. January 1969. He offers suggestions on how to plan the building or remodeling of a farmstead. He discusses building arrangement, space needs, building orientation issues due to sunlight and wind, water and electricity supply, and sewage disposal. Illus. 4 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W. Planning Farm Buildings. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-67. February 1969. He offers a guide to determining the space needed in each building based on the size of such things as hay and straw bales, cattle, hogs, poultry, and feeding equipment. Illus. 4 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W. Selecting a Farm Building. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-693. July 1980. He offers items to consider when selecting and constructing farm buildings in North Dakota, including cost, size, roof and floor construction, insulation, ventilation, and heating. He illustrates different types of walls and roofs. 4 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W. Sheep Barn Layout. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-683. January 1980. He suggests a sheep barn layout and includes multiple plans. 4 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W., Arnold Winsness, and Kermit Toepke. Suspension Fencing. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-81. May 1967. They highlight the advantages of suspension fencing and discuss where and how to construct it. Illus. 4 pp.
Johnson, Dexter W., Ken Hellevang, and Les Backer. Temporary Grain Storage on the Farm. North Dakota Extension Circular 84. July 1982. This circular discusses how to modify existing buildings, especially silos, for grain storage. It also explains the types of temporary storage that can be purchased or built and how to manage them. Sources of permanent granary plans are offered. Illus. 4 pp.
Long, Thomas E. Temperature Studies in Various Types of Potato Storage Houses. North Dakota Experiment Station Circular 66. October 1942. Long discusses how proper storage facilities can reduce the spread of tuber rots. He compares temperatures in four types of storage facilities that people might build. Illus. 4 pp.
Long, Thomas E., and Myron G. Cropsey. Grain Storage on the Farm. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 302. June 1941. Long and Cropsey discuss problems of storing grain and experimental work done on storage. They emphasize structural requirements for safe storage, ventilation, and the prevention of moisture, seepage, and insects. Illus. 68 pp.
McColly, H.F. Testing Gravel for Farm Concrete Construction. North Dakota Extension Circular 129. May 1935. McColly explains the qualities of good aggregate, which is the sand, gravel, or rock that is mixed with cement to form concrete. He gives instructions on how to test and prepare the aggregate for concrete production. Illus. 4 pp.
McColly, H.F. The Trench Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular 135. August 1935. He discusses the features and construction of the trench silo. He highlights the trench silo's uses, including the storage of silage, vegetables, and grain. Illus. 8 pp.
McColly, J.F., and Frank E. Moore. Farm Poultry Housing. North Dakota Extension Circular 153. March 1937. This bulletin discusses the essential features of poultry houses and how to build, remodel, light, and ventilate them. Illus. 18 pp.
McColly, H.F., and J.R. Dice. The Pen Barn and Separate Milking Room. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 283. November 1935. This bulletin discusses costs, advantages, and disadvantages of the pen barn. It highlights the types of pen barns and barn roofs. It offers plans for a barn, milking room, and pens. It also suggests for the location of feed and water spaces. Illus. 26 pp.
McKay, Ian A., and Helen E. Parson. "The Impact of Farm Lot Shape on Patterns in the Rural Landscape," Journal of Geography (November-December 1997): 284-292. This study done in rural Ontario examines how the arrangement and spacing of farm buildings is related to the lot shape of landholdings.
McLellan, Daniel J. Building a Concrete Septic Tank. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-74. November 1962. McLellan gives instructions on how to build a septic tank, how to determine the size needed, and what materials to use. Illus. 6 pp.
McLellan, Daniel J. Water Your Stock Automatically. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-62. August 1968. This circular offers instructions on constructing an automatic electric livestock waterer and how to clean, repair, and wire it. Water temperature control is also addressed. Illus. 4 pp.
McLellan, Daniel J., and J. Clayton Schulz. Above Ground Water System. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-77. January 1965. This circular highlights the advantages of building a pump and pressure tank in an insulated pump house rather than in a well pit. It offers plans for building a pump house, including the installation of wiring, a thermostat, and a heating unit. Illus. 3 pp.
McLellan, Daniel J. Insulated Stock Watering Tank. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-61. January 1965. He explains how to construct an automatic ice-free waterer that uses an electric stock tank heater. Illus. 2 pp.
Midwest Farm Building Plan Service. St. Joseph, Michigan: American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 1933. This is a catalog of farm building plans and descriptions produced exclusively for the Midwest, which here includes Great Plains states from North Dakota south to Oklahoma. Examples of buildings included are homes, garages, barns, granaries, machine sheds, and ice houses.
Miller, R.C., and F.W. Christensen. Silage and the Trench Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular 93. August 1930. This is probably the most detailed discussion of trench silos that the Extension Service offered. It covers the history of the trench silo, reasons to have one, how to construct it, and the different types of silage to put into it. Illus. 42 pp.
Noble, Allen G. Wood, Brick, and Stone: The North American Settlement Landscape. Vol. 2, Barns and Farm Structures. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1984. The works of Noble are wonderful and standard sources, treating not only the major structures such as barns but also the minor ones such as privies and hay stackers. Researchers studying the Great Plains will find Noble's work valuable and indispensible, but limited in that Noble has done very little work in this region.
Noble, Allen G., and Richard K. Cleek. The Old Barn Book: A Field Guide to North American Barns and Other Farm Structures. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1995. See comments for Noble entry above.
Peterson, Enoch J. Poultry Houses. North Dakota Experiment Statioin Circular 14. August 1916. Peterson discusses poultry house location, ventilation, and the construction of its walls, floors, doors, windows, roof, and fixtures. Illus. 4 pp.
Promersberger, W.J. Insulating Farm Buildings. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 325. June 1943. Promersberger discusses types and methods of insulationas well as and treatments to retard vermin and decay in insulation. Illus. 11 pp.
Promersberger, W.J. Insulation for Farm Buildings. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 336. June 1945. He discusses the relationship of insulation to temperature, ventilation, and condensation. He recommends types and amounts of insulation and if and when to treat it. How-tos of insulating and treating are also covered. Illus. 14 pp.
Promersberger, W.J. A Poultry House Plan. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-36. October 1950. Promersberger discusses essential features of poultry houses and emphasizes ventilation issues. Illus. 11 pp.
Promersberger, W.J., Thomas E. Long, and J. Earl Cook. Essential Poultry House Features. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-10. August 1944. This circular includes a discussion of poultry house features such as foundations, floors, and lofts. Illus. 8 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. Form for Building Concrete Baffle Boards. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-27. April 1949. Russell discusses the reason behind using concrete baffle boards as a septic tank cover and explains how to build the cover. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. How to Build a Collapsible Septic Tank Form. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-3. October 1946. Russell explains how to build the collapsible septic tank form, which is designed especially for cooperative use among farmers. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. How to Build a Pit Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-17. September 1945. Russell defines what a pit silo is, in which situations it should be used, and how to construct it. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. Remodeled Sewage System for Heavy Soils. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-38. March 1951. Russell discusses two ways of remodeling standard sewage systems to better suit heavy soils. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. Sewage Disposal System for North Dakota Farm Homes. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-15. June 1945. Russell explains how to install a sewage system, including the house sewer, septic tank, outer sewer, and final disposal field. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. Sewage Disposal System for Your Farm Home. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-24. April 1948. He offers planning suggestions for the house sewer, septic tank, outer sewer, and absorption bed. Illus. 5 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton. The Temporary Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-19. September 1945. He discusses what kinds of silos can be made quickly, emphasizing and explaining the construction of the stack silo and the snow fence temporary silo. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton, and Arthur H. Schulz. How to Build a Cistern. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-20. September 1945. They offer instructions on how and where to build the cistern. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton, and Richard L. Witz. Sewage Disposal System for Heavy Soil Areas. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-33. July 1950. They explain how to install a suitable sewage system for soils that do not allow for proper drainage. Illus. 4 pp.
Russell, J. Clayton, and W.J. Promersberger. Temporary Storage for Corn. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-12. March 1945. They discuss what temporary corn storage facilities can be made of, including snow fence or hay, and how to make and ventilate them. Illus. 3 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. An Above Ground Bunker Type Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-48. August 1954. He offers a construction plan and building suggestions for a bunker silo. Illus. 5 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Building a Circular Form for Cistern or Silo. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-18. September 1945. This circular explains how to construct a circular form. Illus. 4 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Plans for an Insulated Stock Watering Tank. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-61. July 1957. He suggests how to make a watering tank and emphasizes its size, insulation, baffle boards, and heater. Illus. 3 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Plans for Hay Self-Feeders and Feed Bunk. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-42. February 1954. This circular offers a list of material needs as well as illustrations of finished self-feeders and feed bunks. It includes measurements. 5 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Self-Feeder. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-72. January 1961. He explains how to construct a self-feeder for cattle and what materials should be used. Illus. 4 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Sewage Disposal Systems for Your Farm Home. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-43. October 1953. Schulz discusses planning, location, and depth of the system and explains the installation, start-up, and clean-up of the tank. Illus. 12 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton. Twelve Sow Portable Plywood Farrowing House. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-65. February 1958. Schulz offers the design and material needs of this plywood farrowing house as well as instructions on building it. Illus. 4pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton, and Irving J. Mork. Plywood Range Feeder for Turkeys. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-71. March 1960. They offer a list of needed materials as well as illustrations of plywood cutting patterns and the finished feeder. 4 pp.
Schulz, J. Clayton, and W.J. Promersberger. Reinforced Concrete Foundations for Farm Buildings. North Dakota Extension Circular AE-55. January 1956. This circular is designed as a guide to planning footings and foundation when complete plans are unavailable. Illus. 10 pp.
Shepperd, J.H., G.L. Martin, and R.M. Dolve. The Silo and Its Construction. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 98. July 1912. They describe the features, use, and construction of different types and sizes of silos. They also discuss silo roofing, flooring, and doors.
Smith, Ronald C. Landscape Construction Using Brick in Walks and Patios. North Dakota Extension Circular H-908. August 1986. Smith explains the different types of brick, how to lay it, different layout patterns, and color schemes. Illus. 2 pp.
Smith, Ronald C. Landscape Impacts with Railroad Ties. North Dakota Extension Circular H-928. April 1987. This circular discusses sources of ties, how to use them in landscaping, and tools needed for different projects. Illus. 4 pp.
Smith, Ronald C. and Hellevang. Wooden Fence Construction. North Dakota Extension Circular H-970. January 1989. Smith and Hellevang discuss wood selection, fence design and staining, and hardware needs. Illus. 7 pp.
Tully, W.C. Housing Farm Poultry. North Dakota Extension Circular 92. August 1930. He recommends two plans that he believes include the necessary features and arrange them the best. He does not consider construction costs, as he thinks his plans will save money over the long term. Illus. 12 pp.
Vogel, Seb Lambert. Earth Sheltered Construction. North Dakota Extension Circular EES-26. January 1982. Vogel offers a guide on earth-sheltered home construction that emphasizes footing loads, waterproofing, and insulation. He provides one floor plan and several highly detailed illustrations. 8 pp.
Waldron, C.B. Some Hints on Ornamental Planting. North Dakota Experiment Station Bulletin 41. September 1899. Waldron suggests how to arrange flower gardens, shrubs, trees, and fencing around the farm house. He discusses in detail the kinds of shrubs and trees that can be planted. Illus. 19 pp.
Welsch, Roger L. "Sandhill Baled-Hay Construction," Keystone Folklore Quarterly 15 (Spring 1970): 16-34. Hay-bale and straw-bale construction techniques are undergoing a revival across the country. This is the early and classic study by Welsch of historic hay-bale buildings in the area where they are most common, the Nebraska Sandhills.
Werner, H.O. The North Dakota Farmstead: Its Arrangement and Adornment. North Dakota Experiment Station Circular 10. January 1916. Werner discusses the planting of trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers on farmsteads. He lists the types available and suggests how to select and arrange them. He also discusses the location of buildings, walks, drives, windbreaks, and shelterbelts. Maintenance is covered as well. This circular is excellent in breadth of topics and has numerous high quality drawings and photographs. 62 pp.
Wichers, Henry Evert. Designs for Kansas Farm Homes. Manhattan, Kansas: Kansas State Agricultural College, 1929. This book offers a vast array of farm house plans which are intended to make the most efficient use of space. It hopes to offer designs that suit many types of farms and that place kitchens, wash rooms, and stair cases in convenient locations for farm families. Illus. 105 p.
Witz, Richard L., Seb Lambert Vogel, and George L. Pratt. Sewage Disposal Systems for Your Farm Home. North Dakota Extension Bulletin 8. February 1970. They offer considerations for planning and locating the sewage disposal system and selecting the tank. They also discuss maintenance issues and give state health department regulations regarding sewage systems. Illus. 9 pp.
Wooley, John C. Farm Buildings. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1946. American farm buildings, including livestock and poultry houses, storage buildings, and homes are described. The author offers suggestions for building materials, plans and designs, maintenance, and indoor temperatures for different buildings. Illus. 353 p.