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Rise of Industrial America
Immigration to the United States
Home, Home on the Plains (North Dakota)

Many immigrants of Scandinavian ancestry settled on the Northern Plains of the Dakotas in the late 1880s and 1890s. Lacking traditional resources from which to build a house, many immigrant settlers constructed their houses out of sod. Several pictures of first or second generation immigrant family sod houses follow. Why do you think the immigrant families were willing to live in the sod houses? What benefits do you think the sod houses offered to the families? What problems do you think the sod houses presented? Do you think the immigrants thought of the sod shelters as more of a house or more of a home?

For a larger version of the images below, click on the photographs. Click on the text to view bibliographical records. View additional photographs from The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.


Bakken's sod house

John Bakken sod house, Milton, North Dakota

Myrvik's sod house

Ole Myrvik's sod house, Milton, North Dakota

Hultstrand's sod house

Anders Hultstrand sod house, Dakota Territory, 1897

Jerdin's sod house

Carl E. Jerdin sod house, Dakota Territory, 1897


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For a larger version of the images above, click on the photographs. Click on the text to view bibliographical records. View additional photographs from The Northern Great Plains, 1880-1920. Use your browser's Back Button to return to this point.