The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 18, 1806

Clark, January 18, 1806

Monday 18th January 1806

Two of the Clatsops that were here yesterday returned to day for a Dog they had left; they remained with us a fiew hours and departed. no further accounts worthey of relation took place. the men are much engaged dressing Skins in order to Cloath themselves and prepare for the homeward journey.

The Clatsops Chinnooks &c. construct their Houses of timber altogether. they are from 14 to 20 feet wide, and from 20 to 60 feet in length, and accomodate one or more families Sometimes three or four families reside in the Same room. this house is also devided by petitions of Boards, but this happens only in the largest houses, as the rooms are always large Compared with the number of inhabitents. those houses are Constructed in the following manner; two or more posts of Split timber agreeably to the number of devisions or partitions are first provided, these are Sunk in the ground at one end and raised pirpindicular to the hight of 12 or 14 feet, the top of them are hollowed So as to recive the end of a round beem of timber which reaches from one to the other or the entire length of the house; and forming the ridge pole; two other Sets of posts and poles are then placed at proper distancies on either Side of the first, formed in a Similar manner and parrelal to it; those last rise to the intended hight of the eves, which is usially about 5 feet,- Smaller Sticks of timber is then previded and are placed by pears in the form of rafters, resting on, and reaching from the lower to the upper horizontial beam, to both of which they are atached at either end with the Cedar bark; two or 3 ranges of Small poles are then placed Horizontially on these rafters on each Side of the roof & are Secured likewise with Cedar bark. the ends, Sides, and partitions are then formed, with one range of wide boards of about 2 inches thick, which are Sunk in the ground a Small distance at their lower ends & Stands erect with their upper ends lapping on the out Side of the eve poles and end rafters to which they are Secured by a outer pole lyeing parrelal with the eve pole and rafters being Secured to them by Cords of Cedar bark which pass through wholes made in the bods at Certain distances for that purpose; the rough roof is then Covered with a double range of thin boards, and an aperture of 2 by 3 feet left in the Center of the roof to admit the Smoke to pass. These houses are commonly Sunk to the debth of 4 or 5 feet in which Case the eve of the house comes nearly to the Surface of the earth. in the Center of each room a Space of from 6 by 8 feet is Sunk about 12 inches lower than the Hoar haveing its Sides Secured by four thick boards or Squar pieces of timber, in this Space they make their fire, their fuel being generally dry pine Split Small which they perform with a peice of an Elks horn Sharpened at one end drove into the wood with a Stone. mats are Spred around the fire on all Sides, on these they Sit in the day and frequently Sleep at night. on the inner Side of the house on two Sides and Sometimes on three, there is a range of upright pieces about 4 feet removed from the wall; these are also Sunk in the ground at their lower end, and Secured at top to the rafters, from those, other pieces are extended horozontially to the wall and are Secured in the usial manner with bark to the upright pieces which Support the eve pole. on these Short horizontial peics of which there are Sometimes two ranges one above the other, boards are laid, which either form their beads, or Shelves on which to put their goods and Chattles, of almost every discription. their uncured fish is hung on Sticks in the Smoke of their fires as is also the flesh of the Elk when they happen to be fortunate enough to precure it which is but Seldom