Kay and Ernest Mudd moved into their 4900-square-foot, two-level Monolithic Dome home just about seven months ago, but they’ve already shown it to 1000 people. That number almost equals the population of their hometown: Dighton, Kansas. Located at the crossing of two state highways, K96 and K23, Dighton has about 1200 residents in its 0.9 square miles. So where did all the tourists come from?
Kay said, “Every November, at the beginning of pheasant season, our town has a Something Special Day. That brings people in, and while the men hunt, the ladies shop and sightsee. Well, the organizers of last year’s event asked if they could list our house as one of the points of interest to visit. And we agreed, and that brought us a few hundred. The dome was not finished, but they still wanted to walk through, inspect it, satisfy their curiosity and sign our guest book.”
For this year’s “Annual Dome Tour,”/topics/residential-dome-tour the Mudds made their home available for two, rather than the usual one, days and had another 202 visitors.
And then there’s Ernie’s efforts. He’s been known to wave at passers-by, and, if they show any interest at all, invite them in to tour the dome.
Heart Warming Experiences
About all that touring, Kay said, “We love being in the dome. It feels very peaceful and serene. We think the people who come in feel that too. We’ve had some interesting experiences – kind of life changing – with some of our visitors.”
Kay went on to tell about a 75-year-old, single lady who visited with her nephew, three different times. The lady was extremely shy. During the first two visits, she talked to no one and would not even look directly at any one. The Mudds later learned, from her nephew, that she was somewhat of a recluse, who had always lived with her mother, had never worked and did not drive or do much of anything on her own. But during her third visit to the dome, this shy lady began looking at others, smiling and even joining in the conversation. When her nephew asked her why she had suddenly become so different, she said, “This house makes me feel friendly.”
At another time, a family came in with a baby boy who had Down’s Syndrome. Kay said, “When they first entered, that baby was in a fetal position, all humped up on his brother’s shoulder. But as we walked through the dome, he began straightening up and looking around. The parents were absolutely amazed. They said that baby had always been in a fetal position, and they could not get him to stretch out. But that wasn’t all. After a while, that baby wanted us to hold him. The parents said that was another big first – he had never let a stranger hold him before. They said that they thought something about the dome was making him feel relaxed and secure.”
Then there’s what Kay calls, “The four sisters story.” It’s about a lady who attended one of Monolithic’s Workshops, and who wants to build a dome-home in Austin, Texas, but is currently in Iraq. She made all the arrangements and totally paid for her three sisters to travel to Dighton and tour the Mudd home. She even bought them a camera and told them to take pictures. When the sisters arrived, they told the Mudds that they expected to be in their home for about three hours. They wanted to spend time in various rooms, sit in the chairs, lay on the beds – really get a feel for what living in a dome would be like. As they were leaving, they said that they knew they would like it.
A very nice sight and site
The Mudd-Puddle Dome On The Prairie is a beautiful and spacious home with a diameter of 66 feet and a height of 25.5 feet. It has six bedrooms, five bathrooms, an office, a living/family room, a dining area, a kitchen, a loft with a pool table, a laundry area and ample closets, storage and utility areas.
Next to it, stands Twinkie, a four-car garage with an upstairs storage room and a downstairs workshop where Ernie makes incense bottles and tin men, that are given as gifts and sold at craft shows. This activity also brings people to the Mudd-Puddle Dome, and once they are there, they just have to come in, get a look-see, and sign that ever-growing guest book.