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.
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Come visit us in Osborne, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Osborne City Cemetery

The Osborne City Cemetery opened in 1879 at the corner of Eleventh Street and U.S. Highway 24 West. Veterans ranging from the Mexican War though the Vietnam War are buried here. Noted buffalo hunter Jeff Durfey and Howard Ruede, author of the celebrated book "Sod-House Days,"

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Osborne County Pioneers Memorial

This simple elegant sphere-topped white marble column was dedicated in 1929 to preserve the memory and spirit of Osborne County's first generation of settlers. It is located on the northeast corner of the historic courthouse square.

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Geodetic Center of North America

The Geodetic Center of North America was entered on the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1973. It is not to be confused with the Geographic Center of the Continental United States, which is located some 50 miles to the north near Lebanon, Kansas.

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

On Exhibit

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Want a Challenge? Try Shady Bend Golf Course in Osborne, Kansas. You'll like the irrigated, tree lined, blue grass fairways and the undulating, sloped bent grass greens. Our 9 hole golf course, par 36, is a challenge to any golfer with our slope rating of 130.

Our economical $10

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