The sod houses of Custer County, Nebraska
Kampinen, Andrea Rose
MetadataShow full item record
The sod house is a significant vernacular building type associated with the settlement of the Great Plains, but little is known due to the dearth of investigative studies and the disappearance of the earthen resource. Custer County, located in central Nebraska, asserts itself as the "Sod House Capital of the World", due to its abundance of extant sod houses and a rich photographic history documented by Solomon Butcher. This paper establishes a context for sod houses on the Great Plains by examining their evolution, location, and construction methods. In Custer County, I conducted an intensive field study of sod construction to document and accurately inventory surviving examples. Combining the historical photographs of sod houses from the Butcher Collection and the results of the field study, I identify five common sod building types in Custer County. In conclusion, I offer guidance for the physical conservation of these resources.