Day 17 – The Sod House

The Prairie Sod House and a pair of white Prairie Dogs.

The Prairie Sod House and a pair of white Prairie Dogs.

Our next stop is a prairie sod house, built at the late date of 1909, and occupied until 1949. This is a gem of a stop, and we all go in, including Trixie. On the way up to the house, the vast colony of Prairie Dogs yip out their warnings of a real dog in their midst, although Trixie ignores them, and they scurry into their holes before she gets close. These prairie dogs are white, unlike the brown ones we have seen before – all the better to hide in the chalky soil of these badlands.

The sod house is built of blocks cut out of sod, and cut into the hillside. This was meant as a temporary shelter in a vast grassland devoid of wood, but here, it lasted and lasted. A sort of wainscoating waist-high shored up the earth that would bow in, and in the kitchen and sleeping areas it is rough, dirty work, but serviceable – the kitchen and sleeping area divided off by a sheet. A short hall wallpapered with newspapers leads to a small parlor that was neatly appointed with a piano and furniture as if it were a real house, not buried halfway into a hill.

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