In the book On the Banks of Plum Creek, Laura tells about her family living in a small dugout on Plum Creek, a very unusual housing option for readers where dugout today has a baseball meaning, not a housing meaning. The dugout was dug into the side of the hill, and you could walk right over the roof, as was told in the story when the ox went right through the roof.
But did Laura and her family really live in a dugout? Or was this just added to the book?
Yes, the Ingalls family really did live in a dugout. It was much is described in the books, although it might be a lot bigger than many might have imagined. It was noted that it was actually 8’ high. They only lived in it for as long as it took for them to get settled and then build a new house, a practice that was more common back in those days.
The original dugout the family lived in when they first arrived at their land on Plum Creek no longer exists. However, there is a replica dugout that can be visited today in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, near where the original dugout was located.