Tag Archives: S.D. blizzards

The Pioneers of Oak Gulch

The Woodland family outside their first soddie north of Clark, South Dakota
The Woodland family outside their first soddie north of Clark, South Dakota

Fine, white snow whipped against the tent flap that cold, blustery day. The sky was dark and foreboding, but the Deans thought it was nothing more than another snowstorm. Tom Dean searched for a way to prevent the snow’s intrusion into their hole in the hill. Their little dug-out was dark –except for light from their fire burning towards the back of the cave. It worked to keep them dry while plenty of coverings kept them warm. They curled up by their small fire pit and settled in for the night.

Sometime during the night, the wind changed. Ominous snow-filled clouds and bitter cold ravaged from the north. By morning, Tom could barely push the door open in order to fetch wood for the fire. The blinding snow masked the wood pile only a few yards from their dwelling. He wrapped his knitted scarf tightly around his face and ventured out to get enough armloads to last a few days. Continue reading The Pioneers of Oak Gulch