The Prairie Homestead and the Badlands Trading Post are both located at the North East entrance to the Badlands National park. The Homestead was restored in 1962 by Keith and Dorothy Crew. They started The Gasoline Station in 1973. In 1995 it was rebuilt. Both businesses are still operated by the Crew family.
The Prairie Homestead is one of the very few sod dwellings intact today. The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's cultural resources worthy of preservation. In 1974 the Prairie Homestead was placed on this list. This sod dugout was built by Mr. & Mrs. Ed Brown. They were early pioneers who came west looking for land where they could fulfill their dreams. When they reached the grassy prairies near the Badlands they filed on this 160 acres.
The homesteaders' living conditions in the early 1900s were similar to the conditions found in the Eastern United States 200 years earlier. However humble, it was their own and it was home. Many good pioneers survived this kind of living.
With thick sod walls and a dirt roof, this small bedroom stayed cool in summer and warmer in the severe winters than did the more modern frame buildings that were used here at that time. These little sod shanties and dugouts were common throughout the prairie. Most of them have disappeared, melted away by the prairie rains, caved in and returned to the earth from which they came.
Pictures and information were provided by Prairie Homestead
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