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Building History

By Mariah Killian


Over the last few weeks Johnson’s Farm in Piqua, Ohio has been working on making a bungalow. This is a stick and grass made hut, that Indians use to live in. Jerry McKenna andĀ helpers of his choosing, were invited to build this bungalow. McKenna is one of the oldest campers at Johnson’s Farm, when there was a Heritage Festival. He knows his history and is good at what he does. Personally McKenna has invited me out to work on this project with him.

The work to actually build the Bungalow takes a lot of patience. First you go and cut tall grasses and let them dry out. While the grass dries out, you have to go find long bendable twigs or limbs. After that, you will make a bunch of holes in the ground in a circle where, the long limbs will go. The process of setting up the structure takes a long time, good weaving skills, and the ability to tie a good knot with vine or such.

Once done with the bungalow’s structure, you have to actually put the cover on it. With how the bungalow is set up, there should be small squares or something similar to that shape all along the entire thing. Next you will take handfuls of the grass and tie it securely onto the structure going from bottom to top. This process is by far the easiest, but it consumes the most time. Currently the bottom portion from my knowledge is done. At a later date the bungalow will be finished and perhaps will become a new tourist attraction for Johnson’s farm.

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