Discovery Hut was originally built by Robert F. Scott's Discovery Expedition in 1902. At that time, it was used as an on-shore work and storage area. The hut stays pretty cold all the time, so instead of living in it the Discovery expedition stayed aboard their ship (Discovery), which was frozen in ice in the bay next to McMurdo at the time.
The hut was also used by subsequent expeditions headed by Ernest Shackleton (1907-09, 1914-17) and Scott (1910-1913) as a shelter and living space that was much further south than their main headquarters.
The whole hut smells like hay, for some reason.
There is also nearly 100-year-old seal meat and blubber that's been sitting in a corner since the last time the hut was occupied.
There are clothes and other pieces of equipment left lying around as well.
In general, the hut is basically unchanged since the last party that was using it left in 1917. Access is restricted (only a few people could be inside at a given time) and everything is kept well-preserved by the fact that the temperature never gets above freezing inside the hut.
After finishing up the hut tour and checking to see if there were any penguins hanging around (there weren't), we went back in to town.
There were about 20 Minnesotans that came out, and we took a few group photos with the McMurdo sign before going in to the lounge of the dorm next door and talking for a bit. Since the Vikings and Packers are facing each other again next week, this time in the playoffs, we made plans to reserve the Coffee House movie theater for the game next Sunday (McMurdo time). It works out really nice that the game is at a time and day that everyone will be free, so it sounds like there will be a decent crowd there.
Starting at 4pm, the annual Icestock music festival was held in the space between Building 155 (home to the dining hall and shop) and the gym. They had a wide variety of bands that went up and played music from 4pm until 1am, as well as a couple of smaller temporary buildings where coffee, hot dogs, and (we missed this part) chili from the McMurdo chili cook-off were available.