Minnesota Sod House B&B
Sod House on the Prairie...you know the story. You're in a hurry to get "back home".
Soddy - Sanborn, Minnesota
You have a car load of kids (about 7 of them) anxious to reach grandma's house. They don't want to stop and see some dumb soddy. You drive by, wistfully wanting to see this amazing piece out of our American history.
Soddy in Southwestern Minnesota
That's what happened to me. So many times we whizzed by this intriguing and tempting sign...."Sod House". I was totally fascinated, totally interested to see it....but I'm a flexible mom...way too flexible and gave into the "we want to get to grandma's!" instead.
Sod Construction Viewed from Attic
So, it finally happened. I made the 400 mile trip home alone and was a "free bird" to stop and bask in the joy of seeing an authentic soddy. I was surprised to find out that it was also a B&B...a unique idea I recommend taking advantage of if you're in southwestern Minnesota and needing a place to stay.
It's much bigger than I anticipated. The glass windows and normal appearance of the inside walls also was a surprise. From the inside it looked like a normal house, wood floors, plastered walls (except for the attic), all the necessary furnishings. Not only cozy and charming, but roomy and almost luxurious.
Sam took these photos on my second stop here when he was with me. As a teenager who had worked with home bulding, he was finally interested to see this historical type of home construction.
I admit it. I want one of these in our pasture. But then, I want lots of things, like a collection of old houses completely furnished in the style of each era.
My 6th grade teacher, Miss Riley, who lived down the road from my childhood home near Echo, Minnesota, told me she was born in a soddy in Nebraska and showed me a photo of it one day when I was visiting her as an adult. I was totally in awe!
Also, at the Soddy on the Prairie near Sanborn are sod cutting implements and directions about how to use them. Lots of hard work went into making these temporary homes on the prairies of the USA. Some lasted longer than others. This one was made in our lifetime using authentic methods.
They also have a trapper's log cabin and a vast restored prairie filled with grasses and wildflowers of yesterday.
Nearby, in the area is where Laura Ingalls Wilder once lived with her parents near Walnut Groove on the banks of Plum Creek. On the literal banks of Plum Creek one can still see the hole where Laura and her family lived in a soddy house. Remember the story about the cow stepping through the roof? It happened there.
My children and I enjoyed the "On the Banks of Plum Creek" outdoor play one summer in Walnut Grove. My childhood friend, Muriel, was a member of the cast.
I remember many bus rides to Walnut Grove when our Echo teams played against theirs.
Did you know that Laura Ingalls Wilder started writing her widely read books when she was in her 60's? That should inspire all of us!