Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,144 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ran across following website about family who built a sod house in their back yard as an experiment.

http://www.jameslnelson.com/The Sod House.htm

Some neat links to other sod house sites. One of most intriguing was a sod house put on a foundation and the sod was mortared!!!
 

·
Fire On The Mountain
Joined
·
1,458 Posts
Well,that's really interesting. Thanks for the link.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
HermitJohn said:
Some neat links to other sod house sites. One of most intriguing was a sod house put on a foundation and the sod was mortared!!!
Its been a few years, but I remember my great-uncle's house, the original front part was sod that had been mortered. Such a shame, after he and his wife passed, it was abandoned and eventually just fell down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,144 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Family story that my paternal grandfather was born in a sod house in SE Nebraska in 1882. He was like #12 out of 16 kids and they moved around a lot, so had moved on by time he could remember anything.

Personally the only sod house I've ever seen was at the Iowa State Fair when I was a kid. It was a reconstruction of course and over by the antique farm equipment which I liked to look at.

Back then I think I just saw it as a kid would a cobbled up tree house or whatever, not something people actually set up housekeeping in. Now I suppose kids couldnt even relate to it in that way as everything has to be factory built, shiney, and government approved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
HermitJohn said:
Family story that my paternal grandfather was born in a sod house in SE Nebraska in 1882. He was like #12 out of 16 kids and they moved around a lot, so had moved on by time he could remember anything.
At home, in the very northern Texas panhandle, you still read obituaries for people who were born "in a creek bank". That country was settled reletively late, and with no ready timber, homes really were fashioned by digging into the banks of creek beds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,076 Posts
I have read that it takes about an acre (43,560 sq. ft.) of grass to build a sod house.
The last sod house project in Kansas that I heard about, ended in failure. It was determined that the grass was not like that of old and simply wouldn't hold the sod together properly. Perhaps a wet year with shallow roots.

Sod houses were the norm when my home area of Utica, Kansas was settled in the 1880s and a little earlier. Most were small and of just one or two rooms. A ridge pole and branches from trees usually held up a sod roof. After a rain, the interior would drip water for days until the roof dried out. Centipedes and other insects as well as snakes were also a part of sod house living. Of course dirt floors swept down to hard clay was also the norm.

I still own the quarter section of land that my maternal grandfather homesteaded and built a sod house on. My sister-in-law owns the quarter where my fathers family homesteaded and built their sod house on. The quarter to the north is where they lived first, in a "dug out". A dug out being the local term rather than a creek bank home that shelbynteg spoke of.

Over 250 sod house photos at this first link.
http://specialcollections.wichita.edu/collections/ms/95-20/sodhouse.html
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award97/ndfahtml/hult_sod.html
http://webpages.marshall.edu/~irby1/laura/sodhouse.html
http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/natbltn/600-699/nb620.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
Windy in Kansas said:
Sod houses were the norm when my home area of Utica, Kansas was settled in the 1880s and a little earlier.
I don't believe Utica is more than 200 miles from my hometown, Follett, Tx. Why, that's just a hop, skip and jump away on the high plains!
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top