Built from the Earth: The Hutmacher Farmstead
The Hutmacher farm is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is considered the midwest’s finest still-standing example of the earthen abodes built by Germans from Russia. Believe it or not, Alex Hutmacher lived here until 1979.
The Hutmacher farm has been undergoing restoration. You can get more information here. These photos contributed by Kim Dvorak.
The Hutmacher farmstead is a good example of what immigrants were willing to endure for their chance at the American dream. With no trees available for building material, and purchased lumber out of their price range, many settlers on the prairie spent their first years in dwellings like this, built from the only material available — the earth itself. Many had left behind nice homes (and most of their worldly possessions) in Europe, to move to dwellings like this, where there were daily encounters with vermin and insects, and where the roof needed constant maintenance to stave-off leaks, but the promise of new opportunity was worth the hardship.