One of the most striking features of the culture of both Shummians and mainstream local residents is the degree to which both are predicated on owner-built homes, including owner-built shacks. Both groups have been politically active in opposing the efforts of the county Planning Department in stifling this impulse to build. That argument is still going on. Meanwhile, a few examples of Shummian owner-built or conglomerated homes. . .
One of the most unique aspects of the culture of Shum, one that expresses and incorporates its values in concrete form is its approach to shelter. While the importance of the owner-built home has received much press over the years, the tenacity, motivation and creativity of the original back-to-the-landers in managing to survive the cold, rainy winters with whatever was at hand has not received, in my view, its proper recognition.