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The Skala Timber House

The Joseph and Katherine Severa Skala house, built near Battle Creek by 1869, is
a rare product of Czech-American culture. Discovered inside a house being demolished
in 1968, the remains were moved here. The timber rooms have been preserved as found,
and, except for the roof and two later openings, reflect the original construction.

The structure is a masterpiece of ancient Slavic carpentry skills so old they are
rare even in Europe. This Czech technique is distinguished from similar methods by the
use of thin planks set within a post-and-beam frame. Known as post-and-panel
construction, this is the only example in Nebraska. The planks are so skillfully crafted
that they rest perfectly upon each other. The unusual two-room arrangement is also an
old Czech peasant cottage plan. Noteworthy interior features include the tie beams, and
the diagonally-placed willow lathes with mud and straw plaster.

The present roof and porch were built following traditional Czech practice using
old lumber donated by Mary Lucht, a descendant of the first pioneers. Window shutters
were added for security.

 

Parks of Pride Foundation
Nebraska State Historical Society
Parks of Pride,
off Highway 121, Battle Creek
Madison County
Marker 439

 


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Last updated 9 February 2005

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