Arbor Day began inauspiciously as one of a number of efforts to encourage the planting of trees in barren Nebraska. The State Board of Agriculture had offered a prize of $50 for the best and largest grove of timber planted in 1870, and $25 for the second best and largest.
Can you imagine living in a sod house—not as a pioneer, but as a modern person? Some people do, and some e pioneer-era soddies survive as modern dwellings.
A recently occupied and well preserved sod house. Photo courtesy by Diane Laffin.