Sod-House Days : Letters from a Kansas Homesteader, 1877-78, Paperback by Rue…

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If you are interested in how the pioneers of the Great Plains lived in the 1870's, then you should enjoy this. If you aren't interested in that subject however, the book might seem boring because it just covers everyday life. Although these were letters written by a homesteader, they were in the form of a diary, which I think makes it more detailed. This man was very young,and trying to work on his claim. (The homestead act of 1862 gave free plots of land to settlers who claimed it, provided they lived on it and worked it. ) To those with little money it was a way to acquire a lot of land. But surviving out on the prairie was tough. Trees were scarce, and railroads hadn't come through yet to transport wood, so sod houses and dugouts were built instead instead of wood houses. They were not pleasant to live in. He tells of the work and the hardships of a farmer growing crops, the work on his sod house, and the problems when his sod roof would leak. (Which was a common problem with the sod houses). He also records the cost of everything he has to buy.

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