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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.
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The Nebraska soddies in Solomon Butcher's photos of the 1880s are palatial by comparison.
Asa Thomas gave him a cup of some fiery home brew that began thawing his insides, and he noticed some of the men carrying Caleb Cooper into one of the soddies.