“Esquimaux Winter Houses” (July 13, 1826) [drawn by E. N. Kendall]

At five o'clock in the afternoon, rainy weather setting in, we made for a small island, and mooring the boats as near the beach as we could, covered them up, and landed to prepare supper. The length of the day's voyage was twenty-eight miles and a half. Mr. Kendall named the island in honour of Mr. Atkinson, of Berry-House: it is situated in latitude 69° 55' N., longitude 130° 43' W., and is separated from a flat, and occasionally inundated shore, by a narrow creek. It is bounded towards the sea by a bulwark of sand-hills, drifted by the wind to the height of thirty feet. Under their shelter seventeen winter-houses have been erected by the natives, besides a large building, which, from its structure, seemed intended for a place of assembly for the tribe. Ooligbuck said he thought it was a general eating-rrom, but he was not certain, as his tribe erect no such buildings. I annex a section and ground plan of one of the largest of the dwelling-houses. The centre (A) is a square of ten feet, having a level flooring, with a post at each corner (D,D) to support the ridge-poles, on which the roof rests. The recesses (B) are intended for sleeping-spaces. Their floors have a gentle inclination inwards, are raised a foot above the central flooring. Their back walls are a foot high, and incline outwards like the back of a chair. The ridge-poles are six feet above the floor, the roof being flat in the centre, and sloping over the recesses. The inside of the building is lined with split-wood, and the outside is strongly but roughly built of logs, the whole being covered with earth. An inclined platform (C) forms the ascent to the door, which is in the middle of one of the recesses, and is four feet high; and the threshold, being on a level with the central flooring, is raised three feet above the surrounding ground, to guard against inundations. There is a square hole in the roof, near the door, intended for ventilation, or for an occasional entrance. As we observed no fire-places in these dwellings, it isprobable that they are heated, and the cookery performed, in the winter, with lamps. [Richardson, pp. 214-216.]