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Aberdeen: 1940

Aberdeen: 1940

November 1940. "Residential section of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This is one of the few Dakota towns with plenty of trees. They were brought here when the town was first settled by Easterners." Medium format acetate negative by John Vachon. View full size.


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Roof Gaps

My guess the reason for the roof sheathing gaps is that it gives the carpenters a place to "stand" while placing the the subsequent boards higher up. To fill the gaps, "toe boards" could be nailed on top of the sheathing to provide a way to prevent sliding off the roof. Today, builders use plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) for exterior wall and roof sheathing.


Hey fellas. If you got any of them rabbeted lintels set, rip 'em out.

Nice neighborhood

Look at that beautiful lumber! Wonder if they owned the house next door? Very attractive house and neighborhood.

A tip o' the hat

to J W Wright who must have spent the good part of a day on Google Maps finding 1310 N. Main Street.

Anyone else wonder about the diagonal sheathing?

I wondered about the reason for applying the sheathing boards on the newer house on the diagonal, as it would seem to entail extra work. Apparently it was a simple way to brace the studs of a "balloon frame" house better than a horizontal orientation would do, and easier than fitting angled 2x4 braces between the studs.

My dad could have told me that, but I found this on the Interwebs:

Tree shadow tentacles

racing toward the homes. Most likely the reason that made photographer to stop and click at that moment.

Hope they've seen it

If I were the current owner of this house I would be mindblown to see this photo, and would have a large copy of it hanging within. I say this with confidence because my house was built in 1925 and I have a photo of it under construction that I found in the photo archive of our city's library. And it isn't nearly as nice as this photo.

BTW, I'm sure there is a very good reason for the pattern of gaps in the roof during construction but I don't know enough about roofing to even hazard a guess.

I need to travel more.

I have been to nearly all the fifty states, but have so far missed both Dakotas. This looks nothing like I imagined.

Too close for comfort

The new house is mighty close to its neighbor. Hope the occupants of both got along.

A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved

Maybe, maybe not. These close neighbors, 1310 and 1314 N. Main Street, today share a concrete driveway.

Lawn maintenance disputes along the property line were deftly avoided by such an arrangement, but one must wonder how many "parking wars" there have been over the years. And let us hope they've worked out an agreeable snow removal plan!

Well, we could speculate for days, but wouldn't it be a hoot if one of the current residents would happen to join us and share a tale or two?

Economy of means

Yessir, we built that house with a carpenter, a brickmason and a draft horse!

For 1940 South Dakota

quite an upscale looking new home under construction - note the two car garage, which would have been very rare at the time ... must have been built for an affluent pillar of the Aberdeen community.

Be it ever so humble.

There's no place like 1310 N Main St.

Get to know your new neighbors.

I wonder if they could get the house any closer to the other. Holy Smokes.


There, in the street, is that the talented Mr. Vachon's head between the trees? I see no arm to the head, but I don't know what kind of camera he was using.

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