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Building a Soddie

Building a Soddie

Author: Dan Boyle
Description:

By the end of this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • describe the types of homes that homesteaders built for themselves on the prairie in the years during and after the Civil War
  • discuss why those homes were made the way that they were
  • describe the problems that went in to building homes on the prairie

With little to no trees for lumber, the majority of homes on the Great Plains had to be constructed literally out of the ground that surrounded them.  These "soddies" were constructed in such a way as to give its residents as much protection from the elements as possible for as little money as possible.  What many settlers found was that, while not perfect, these homes could provide for them the shelter that they needed.

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Tutorial

How to Build a Soddy (Screencast-O-Matic Version)

A look at how soddies were typically constructed on the Great Plains in the years during and after the Civil War, through about he beginning of the 20th Century

How to Build a Soddy (YouTube Version)

A look at how soddies were typically constructed on the Great Plains in the years during and after the Civil War, through about he beginning of the 20th Century

Two-Story Soddie in Nebraska

This link is to a 1962 video about a two-story sod house, very unique for this time.

http://www.nebraskastudies.org/0500/stories/0501_0108_03.html

(if the video will not play, you will probably need to update your Adobe Shockwave Player.  It is a free download and if you do a search for "Adobe Shockwave," you should have no problem.)

Source: Nebraskastudies.org: Dr. Robert Manley at the Haumont House, from the ca. 1962 NET program Nebraska Heritage.