Dugout Soddy on the Prairie
Early pioneer life in a sod house is depicted in this painting by artist Wayne Cooper. Sod houses such as these dotted the landscape in western Oklahoma after the land run. Here, a pioneer woman tends to her chickens while everyday homesteading life goes on behind her. The wash pot and wood axe in the foreground symbolize the harshness of life on the windswept prairie.
Sod houses were cool in summer and easy to heat in winter. They were never expected to last very many years since sod is highly susceptible to damage from the elements—especially wind, rain and temperature extremes. But the sod did furnish a readily available, cheap building material.
The only remaining sod house in Oklahoma is located at Aline, Oklahoma and is preserved and protected by the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Images are copyright of The Oklahoma State Senate Historical Preservation Fund, Inc. and the artist. Please contact Matt Duehning at 405-524-0126 or Matt.Duehning@oksenate.gov for further copyright information.