Dakota, Maintained by mnelson Howard, 1983); it is difficult to reconcile this with the 1960 death date on his tombstone (see. Built is 2008, the Archway’s replica sod house gives visitors an idea of what life was like for the first settlers of European descent in Nebraska territory. |  New Mexico One, at the end of the eastern projection of the L, led into the kitchen-hall. [24][25], In building the walls, the sod blocks were laid one course at a time; each course was completed before the next was begun. The Dowse Sod House in Custer County - about 10 miles outside of Comstock - is an excellent example of how long-lasting and complex sod houses could be. [34], The last major alteration to the house took place in 1935, when it was realized that the projection of the eaves was not sufficient to protect the house's walls from erosion. However, the sod roof's weight also posed the risk of collapse if there was insufficient wood support for it, and sod roofs tended to drip water, mud, and insects. [10], A simple sod house could be built in about a week, and for a cost of less than five dollars. Fire damaged the roof and shingles were blown off, allowing leakage; all of the windows and doors were broken or destroyed. [4], Settlers in the regions east of the Missouri River had found ample trees with which to build log houses. Settler families tended to live in their sod houses six or seven years. Also had the “World’s Largest Plow” in the same location. Throwback Thursday Photo, Pumpkins on the Prairie The Garness family pose in front of their sod home in Custer County for Nebraska photographer Solomon D. Butcher in 1887. Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska Tourism Commission301 Centennial Mall South PO Box 98907 Lincoln, NE 68509-8907 (402) 471-3796. Sod House at Windlass Hill, Ash Hollow State Historic Park, Nebraska ID: JG5R32 (RF) Morrison family in front of sod house in Custer County, Nebraska in 1886. [7] Cost was not the only advantage. The original grasshopper plow used to cut the sod bricks was put on display. The window wells were beveled, widening toward the interior of the house; this admitted more light to the house. An ordinary plow could be used, given considerable skill and care on the part of the operator; however, the mouldboard tended to turn over and break up the blocks; even if intact blocks were produced, they were generally not of uniform thickness. Address 1445 K St Ground floor, room #1417 Lincoln, Nebraska … The sod house was set up like it would have been originally. The interior of the sod walls was plastered with a mixture of clay, straw, and hog hair. Today, the Dowse Sod House is the best surviving example of an original pioneer sod home in Nebraska. I've heard stories of my family's early history in Nebraska where, Northwest corner of I-80, Gothenburg, NE 69138-2235. The weight of the roof helped to keep it from blowing away in strong winds, and the insulating power of such a roof helped to moderate temperatures within the house. [3] For their efforts in restoring the house and opening it to the public, Philip and Curtis Dowse received the Nebraska State Historical Society's Nebraska Preservation Award in 1990. Site includes a sod house, a barn housing photographs and memorabilia, and wooden windmills in an old farmstead setting. You'll receive your first newsletter soon! [34][38], The durability of the house was tested in the early 1940s,[39] when a tornado struck the farmstead. Sod houses were often built near the river so the residents could trade with travelers who followed the trails along the riverbanks. The Dowse house used a pitched wood shingle roof. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. |  Manuscript index  |  Special [3], The Homestead Act of 1862 was a major factor in opening the Great Plains to white settlement. [46] In the 21st century, the Dowse Sod House is promoted as a tourist destination by the village of Comstock[47] and by the Nebraska Division of Travel and Tourism.[48]. "The sod houses of Custer County, Nebraska". The choice of roofing depended on the time, resources, and preferences of the builder. Today, the Dowse Sod House is the best surviving example of an original pioneer sod home in Nebraska. Sod houses were common in Nebraska's early days, but the William R. Dowse house in Custer County is one of the few that remains standing today. The floors were packed dirt; the ceiling was muslin tacked beneath boards. In the following year, he married Sarah Wagner, who was born in 1854 in Auglaize County, Ohio. To bind the wythes and increase the stability of the wall, every second, third, or fourth course was laid crosswise. [26][27], Early sod houses were roofed with sod. Nebraska Capitol Gift Shop. "Stephen H. Long's 1822 Geographical, Statistical and Historical Map of Arkansas Territory (from the Carey and Lea Atlas of 1822)". Series 1 - By State Browse photographs by city name or subject: Colorado | Kansas | Minnesota | Montana | Nebraska | New Mexico North Dakota | Oklahoma | South Dakota We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! The red barn museum is locked up. Description   |  Top  |  Manuscript index  |  Special A Sod House in the Sandhills Nebraska 325 grants on the old trail often had to stop while the buffalowere crossing the road. And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: Contrary to popular belief, sod houses weren't simply shacks made of mud. Gaston, W. L. and A. R. Humphrey. They repaired the home and furnished it with pioneer-era objects like furniture, decor, and a cast iron stove. Don't miss the life-size sculpture of a bison and American Indian on horseback made from barbed wire. Want to see some more historic houses in Nebraska? Florence Dowse remained for another two years before moving to Comstock; she died in 1969. Enjoyed the history, especially a peak into early plains living with the authentic style sod house.