Sod House on the Prairie

Hey!  Speaking of Children’s Literature, let’s drive to southern Minnesota and see some Little House sights!

Our first stop is the Sod House on the Prairie.


Stan McCone built a sod house and a dugout on his farm near Sanborne, MN.  He cut the sod from a site several miles away and brought it to his farm.  He also restored five acres of prairie grasses and wildflowers.


Approaching the sod house.



Inside.  This is a very fancy example of a sod house.  It is very large with its whitewashed walls.  It served as a bed and breakfast for many years, though it does not anymore.


The thick window frames remind me of cobb houses.


Overall, it’s a pretty spacious and light-filled dwelling.


I loved the door detail.


On our way to the dugout we encountered a farm cat.


Prairie and flowers.


The dugout.   The back side is dug into a hill.


Front door and roof detail.



This is much smaller than the soddy.  It felt oppressive inside, even with two very big windows.


This was bigger than the dugout Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family occupied in On the Banks of Plum Creek.  And that dugout only had one window and it was grease paper.




Tool needed to create sod house/dugout.


The ever important outhouse.


View of both the dugout and the soddy.


Pretty prairie flower. The internet tells me its Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) L.


4 thoughts on “Sod House on the Prairie”

  1. I love this “If you build it, they will come” story of these little soddies! It is rather classic! Yay for America+capitalism+literary love!

  2. I’m really surprised by how nice the sod house is on the inside. You wouldn’t guess it from the way it looks on the outside. Do you have any idea why the window frames are so wide? Just curious. Was the farm cat friendly? I like the shot of the plow.

    1. The farm was cat friendly in that there was one sleeping on the porch when we paid the farmer and when we remarked on it, he offered to give it to us. Another had a big sore on him. So farm cats, which is hard for pampered pet me to deal with.

      I think the window frames are so wide because the sod is rather thick, unlike balloon frame of how houses are now built.

  3. I’ve just gotten to processing these posts for our blog. Will wonders never cease?!?! And I came by to check the order of the places. I had it correct. Yay me!

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