Rediscovering Sod-House Days Self-Guided Auto Tour

category : Tours
In 1877, Pennsylvania native Howard Ruede arrived in the Kill Creek community of central Osborne County, Kansas and staked out a homestead. For the next year and a half he wrote letters back to his family telling them about life on the Great Plains and encouraging them to come join him, which they later did.

In 1937, 12 years after Howard's death, author John Ise edited these letters together and had published the book "Sod-House Days: Letters of a Kansas Homesteader 1877-1878." "Sod-House Days" has since been recognized as one of the greatest stories on homesteading life ever written. Still published in over 20 countries around the world, the book has proven popular as both a historical record of the times and as an educational tool for today's students.

In celebration of the 70th anniversary of the initial publication of the book, the Rediscovering Sod-House Days Self-Guided Tour has been established. This 15-mile, 20-stop tour features many of the sites and people made famous in Howard Ruede's classic tale. Numerous interpretive markers along the route expand the visitor's knowledge of the grit and sheer determination that it took to survive as a prairie settler.

All roads are non-paved; inquire locally as to road conditions. Tour brochure available.

Admission: Free
Address: Located one mile south and then 15 miles west of Osborne on County Rock Road 388.
Our Email:

Come visit us in Osborne, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Osborne County Museum Complex

The Osborne County Museum Complex offers an opportunity to visit the past with memorabilia dating back to the pioneer days.

On Exhibit

* Horse-drawn farm machinery
* Stonemason's tools
* Medical equipment

Osborne, KS Museums

Osborne County Courthouse

A visit to the Osborne County Courthouse will show the use of the area's popular post rock material in its Romanesque Revival styling. Built in 1907-1908 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places,

Osborne, KS Historic Courthouses

Osborne Carnegie Research Library

The Osborne Carnegie Library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1912

Osborne, KS Genealogy

Osborne County Veterans Memorial

Erected in 2000, This granite obelisk is dedicated to the memory of all Osborne County military veterans who ever served in active duty. Located on the north side of the historic courthouse square, the black African/

Osborne, KS Memorials

Osborne WPA Scout Cabin

Built of native stone as a Works Progress Administration (WPA)project in 1936, the historic Scout Cabin features original fireman poles and a massive stone fireplace. The building is available for meetings, reunions, and other community events.

Osborne, KS Historic Buildings

Things to do Tours near Osborne, KS