sod house

Our Historical Markers across Nebraska highlight fascinating moments and places in our state's past. Today, we're focusing on the story of Lakeland High School, which was made of sod and heated by cow chips.

Garness family by Solomon D. Butcher [RG2608.PH0-001300]

Garness family by Solomon D. Butcher [RG2608.PH0-001300]

The Garness family pose in front of their sod home in Custer County for Nebraska photographer Solomon D. Butcher in 1887. Next to the family is a big pile of large pumpkins. Butcher often had his subjects pose with their favorite possessions or signs of prosperity.  In this photo, Butcher and the Garness family use the pumpkins to show a successful, bountiful harvest. 

David Murphy (Senior Research Architect) and Diane Laffin (Architectural Historian) stand in front of a six room sod house in Logan County, Nebraska, in Fall 2016.


The right portion of this house shows a remnant of an earlier, lower gable, indicating that the house was originally built with a low roof (like the house in the left background in the previous photo). With its additions, awning, and partial new roof, the tidy sod house is the picture of prosperity.


Lakeland sod high school is under construction. Summer 1934 RG4290.PH0-001505


For the holidays, we wanted to let you know about a new way for you to find out about Nebraska history.  At the end of September, we started producing a podcast called Second Story Radio that features stories about historic places across the state. We’ve produced six episodes so far at Catch up while while you’re wrapping presents or getting ready for your New Year’s party!

J. D. Troyer, west of Calloway, Neb., 1892With the family Bible on father’s knee and a baseball bat under the youngest daughter’s chair, these Nebraska homesteaders are ready for anything Custer County can pitch at them.

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