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  • Writer's pictureNotes From The Frontier

Sod Houses – Humble Homes of the Prairie

Updated: May 4, 2023

Once westering pioneers reached their destination, they had to build homes. Those homes reflected the available natural resources of the land. In forested areas, log homes were popular. Some areas in rocky terrain used stones. Some in the Southwest, where clay was plentiful, used adobe. On the Great Plains, sod houses, called “soddies,” were the most common abodes. (There were some wealthier settlers who brought pre-cut timber cabin kits with them offered through the Sears & Roebuck catalog, but these types of homes were more rare on the early prairie.)

The humble dirt and grass homes were made with about the only natural resource available: sod. Pioneers used a special plow that could cut the dense virgin sod, then it was cut into bricks and stacked. All of it was very hard work. And a sod roof was the most challenging to build of all and could weigh more than three tons!

Below are two excellent videos. The first one is a two-minute video of sod house history.

History of Sod Houses VIDEO

The second video, below, is a truly fascinating Oklahoma Historical Society virtual tour of a 126-Year-Old Sod House Museum (built in 1894) in Aline, Oklahoma. After viewing this video, you’ll be very glad to live in a modern home!

Old Sod House Museum Virtual Tour VIDEO

You may find these related posts interesting:

-How to Build a Log Cabin

-Outhouses-Gems of American Architecture

"Sod Houses - Humble Homes of the Prairie" was first posted on Facebook and on March 11, 2020

147,302 views / 2,328 likes / 1,529 shares


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2 commentaires

lekor adams
lekor adams
15 mars

Sod houses, the humble abodes that dotted the prairie landscape, symbolize the resilience and ingenuity of early settlers, adapting to their environment by constructing homes from the very earth beneath their feet. These eco-friendly, naturally insulated homes provided shelter and warmth, reflecting a deep connection to the land. In a modern context, the ethos behind sod houses aligns with Sensibo's mission of enhancing living environments through technology. Just as sod houses utilized natural resources for climate control, Sensibo's high-quality air purifiers and humidifiers optimize indoor air quality, marrying the simplicity of past solutions with today's technological advancements. This synergy between historical ingenuity and contemporary innovation underlines the timeless pursuit of comfortable, sustainable living spaces, demonstrating how even the most humble…


Bentley Hagler
Bentley Hagler
25 janv. 2023

how cool


Deborah Hufford

Author, Notes from the Frontier

Deborah Hufford is an award-winning author and magazine editor with a passion for history. Her popular blog with 100,000+ readers has led to an upcoming novel! Growing up as an Iowa farmgirl, rodeo queen and voracious reader, her love of land, lore and literature fired her writing muse. With a Bachelor's in English and Master's in Journalism from the University of Iowa, she taught students of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, then at Northwestern University, Marquette and Mount Mary. Her extensive publishing career began at Better Homes & Gardens, includes credits in New York Times Magazine, New York Times, Connoisseur, many other titles, and serving as publisher of The Writer's Handbook


Deeply devoted to social justice, especially for veterans, women, and Native Americans, she has served on boards and donated her fundraising skills to Chief Joseph Foundation, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Homeless Veterans Initiative, Humane Society, and other nonprofits.  


Deborah's soon-to-be released historical novel, BLOOD TO RUBIES weaves indigenous and pioneer history, strong women and clashing worlds into a sweeping saga praised by NYT bestselling authors as "crushing," "rhapsodic," "gritty," and "sensuous." Purchase BLOOD TO RUBIES online beginning June 9. Connect with Deborah on, Facebook, and Instagram.

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