I bet you are wondering what a soft ball field has to do with sod houses?
Well, when the new school was built about 11 years ago, the architect included a softball field to go with the hockey rink and the playground. There are two problems, the kids around here are not interested in softball and the snow is on the ground from October to April or May.
About six years ago, someone decided to build a sod house, Alaskan Style, for the students to use. Historically, many houses were built of sod and perhaps connected by tunnels. The main house was where everyone met so the elders educated the children with ancestral knowledge.
The only place to build it was in the unused soft ball field. So they built it there. Supposedly, classes were going to be held in the sod house just like long time ago. It never really worked out so a few years later, they took it down because it wasn't built properly.
Historically, many places in Alaska used the sod house as the learning center, meeting place, center of the village. There is a site outside of town that seems to be several sod houses connected to a central sod house by tunnels.
Me, I get a bit uneasy when I go out there to check it out because it is around 80 years old and starting to fall down. Still is it part of the local history and many groups in Alaska are trying to preserve their language, culture, and history.