The eight room palace was constructed on a very small outlay of hard currency, nor could any be found for the purpose of purchasing new furnishings and equipment. At first everyone thought we were warm-blooded enough to get
along using the seats made of snow, but after a couple of boys developed ‘piles’ in their seats – even the most stingy boy brought a slab to sit on. In fact slabs were used for everything, even to prop up areas of the ceiling that would not take the weight above it. Gig IRVING made quite a hit with some of the boys when he brought in a potted geranium with two red blooms on it, but the poor thing did not seem to do well without the sun. Another boy brought in a couple of candles, but I discouraged using them as the fire department would have trouble reaching a fire should one develop. Everyone agreed the house was quite comfortable but one boy decided it would be more inviting to have a small fireplace in the living room, but that one was quickly stamped out when the bottom of the fire place started to sink. As all the boys were growing we had the refrigerator in the kitchen well stocked [?Before the invention of the refrigerator].
I doubt that any of our group gave any thought to the weight of the great mass of snow that formed the ceiling of our palace.
I am more certain none had heard of such physic terms as stress and strain, without attempting to do any measuring or figuring. Now that the story of the palace is finished, all I can think about is the desperate chance we “lunk heads” took in being smothered to death by a cave in of the tons of snow on top. If I ever knew, I have entirely forgotten who actually started the venture, but who ever it was must have been a better engineer than he had reason to know.
When later reading about the Eskimo Igloo, I found the snow palace experience allowed me to better understand how the temperature inside an igloo, heated only with a pair of crude blubber oil lamps could be 60 degrees F, while outside there was abysmal cold of 50 degrees below zero.”