Sod House – West Bend, Iowa

Sod HouseSod House – West Bend, Iowa



Sod Houses were the typical accommodations for the pioneer in the plaines states while they waited for the railroad to bring lumber to thier area.  The sod houses were usually quite small, but certainly better than being exposed to the elements. When it rained, the mud would run down into the house. There were also issues with insects, a charming way to live!

This replica of a prairie sod house was used as a temporary dwelling for early pioneers. With the passing of the Homestead Act in the 1850’s, Pioneers were given 150 acres of free land if they would live on it for 5 years in a dwelling with a door and a window. With no large trees on the prairie, sod houses were the answer until lumber arrived via the railroad. A family of 6-8 would live in a sod house of this size. A loft would be built for the children to sleep. Meals were cooked outdoors in the summer to keep it cool inside.

Location – 201 1st Ave SE, West Bend IA 50597  

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