sod house


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sod house,

house with walls made of strips of sod laid horizontally in courses like bricks. Sod houses were common in the frontier days on the western plains of the United States, where wood and stone were scarce. The sod, turned by the plow and held together by roots, was lifted in strips and usually cut in 3-ft (1-m) lengths (sods). The walls were hewed smooth with a spade and were often plastered with clay and ashes. Sometimes roofs were of frame construction; usually they were thatched or covered with sods, which had to be replaced after heavy rains. Sod walls were fire- and windproof and good insulators, but they permitted only small window openings. For other earth houses, see rammed earthrammed earth,
material consisting chiefly of soil of sufficiently stiff consistency that has been placed in forms and pounded down. It has been used for buildings and walls since ancient times and was employed in some of the most ancient fortifications in the Middle East.
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Bibliography

See E. Dick, The Sod-House Frontier (1937).

sod house, soddie

A dwelling having thick walls of blocks cut from an upper layer of grassland (i.e., sod). Houses of this type were constructed quickly by early settlers in the Great Plains of the United States in areas where timber and stone were scarce, suitable clay was not available for making bricks in quantity, but good-quality sod was readily obtainable. Often, constructed partially underground, or built into the side of a hill to provide improved thermal insulation. The walls were usually plastered with clay to promote cleanliness and dryness within the structure, and to reduce or prevent insect infestation. Also see Plains cottage.
References in periodicals archive ?
We're back to building sod houses with conventional materials.
McClurg) and her six children spent a harsh winter snowbound in a 16x20 foot sod house on the Dakota prairie.
Visitors wander through a fully representative town made up of schools, churches, train depots, telephone office, stores and businesses, a hotel, jail, library, museums, sod house, claim shanty, livery barn, and a fully restored and operating vintage carousel.
In one dark and smoky full-scale sod house, a fire burning in a pit on the floor provides both light and warmth.
Born in a sod house in 1957, Kunuk spent his childhood living in a relatively traditional way, but was sent away for school when he was nine.
Baldwin was born in 1888, and grew up in a sod house in the wheat country of western Kansas.
Our Mother, Charlotte "Lottie" Davis, whom I was named after, told us stories of how she lived in western Kansas as a small child and grew up on the prairie in a sod house.
Some read the word and see a picture of a family parking their Conestoga wagon and building a sod house on the prairie.
Beatrix Arendt, University of Virginia, is conducting excavations at a mid-18th-century Inuit sod house village in Labrador, Canada;
However, they do not explore the architectural tradition that underlies both qarmaq and sod iglu and provides a bridge between the sod house forms of North Alaska and Greenland, namely the sod, stone, and whale bone winter house that was ubiquitous in the Canadian Arctic between the 13th and 16th centuries.
I was fortunate enough to meet Paneak and drink tea with him in his sod house (the only one remaining) in Anaktuvuk Pass in 1968.