Scenic USA - Oklahoma
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Points of Interest
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|Photos by Ben Prepelka|
In an area with a limited number of trees and commonly arriving with very little money, Oklahoma pioneers quickly covered the plains with thousands of buffalo grass sod houses. When the Oklahoma territory was opened for settlement on September 16, 1893, hundreds of settlers streamed across the land looking for the perfect site to establish a new life. Marshall McCully took part in the run into Cherokee Outlet, stopping in Jet, Timberlake Springs and finally settling in Aline. That fall McCully lived in a dugout, a hollowed out room in a ravine. Arriving with 25 cents and a two cent stamp to his name, McCully hitched his team to an 18 inch plow and split open a half acre of buffalo grass. The sod was then chopped into 18 inch lengths. With these sod bricks, McCully erected a 12' x 24' two room house. From the few trees in the area, split poles were used as rafters and twelve inches of sod were laid over the top for a roof. From a nearby alkali pit, clay was used to plaster the 18 inch interior walls. Most homes had a dirt floor, but the Aline sod home received a wood floor cover in 1895. Sod houses were cool in the summer and easy to heat in the winter, but the ceilings rained down dirt, insects and snakes. Ceilings were covered in cloth and often the covering was just a collection of old flour sacks.
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