Lane County Historical Museum Dighton, Kansas home of the Lane County Bachelor
Permanent Exhibits Replicas of area buildings and businesses allow for artifacts pertaining to these early community places to be shown in a setting similar to what might have been an early street scene in Lane County. Come take a stroll through time down the streets of Dighton.


Sod House Exhibits


     This sod house was laid up under the supervision of George Lawrence and Art Bentley.  Sod is made by using a specially constructed instrument called a “sod cutter” by cutting strips about four inches thick of heavily matted, root-filled top soil from the native prairies.  These strips were then cut into “bricks” about 12 by 24 inches.  These sod bricks were laid up into 24- inch thick walls, which held a roof of heavy timber and boards covered with more sod.  When such a house was complete, the pioneer was set for all weather.  This sod house started out with a sod roof but in an effort to preserve the items in the house for future generations to appreciate, the society decided to put a shingle roof on the sod house.

      The following are quotes by early day pioneers about sod houses: “They were wonderful houses, warm in winter and cool in summer, but oh, when it rained!  That muddy water would start leaking through the roof and it kept on leaking through two days after it was clear out-of-doors.  We had a trundle bed in which mother would put the children and push it under the bed to keep them dry at night while she and father would sit under an umbrella.”  “Our father built a three room sod house on the homestead.  This sod house was typical of all the sod houses on the plains.  It had a board roof covered with sod and topped with clay or ‘magnesia’ from a nearby canyon.  The object of the ‘magnesia’ was to seal the cracks between the sod so that the roof would not leak, but the roof leaked anyway and whenever it rained mother would gather up pots and pans to put under the numerous leaks to protect the contents of the house.”  “Where we took the sod off the ground for the house, we planted our garden and that first summer we had many kinds of garden vegetables.”  “My sister and I went to school in a one room sod house with no plaster on the walls and with a dirt floor.  We had to take our own seats for none were in the school – if we had no seat, then we sat on the floor.”


Temporary Exhibits








Timeless Treasures Exhibit


     The Lane County Museum is excited to offer a Timeless Treasures opportunity! The museum would like community members to share one item that is a timeless treasure to be displayed at the museum from March 12- April 30. This treasure need not have monetary value or necessarily considered to be an antique, just an important treasure you would like to share.

     We encourage you to write a brief history about your item which includes who, what, where and when information and deliver both the item and the history to the Lane Co. Museum by March 9. If your item is large, please contact Sonya Thomas at the museum (620-397-5652) to check availability of space during museum hours, Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 pm.

     All items presented for display will be photographed and the required release for display paperwork will be signed at the time of delivery to ensure that all items are secure and returned to the rightful owner.

    Upon your request, museum volunteers will research and estimate the value of your item and share this information with a public viewing on Sunday, March 31, at 2 pm. Please indicate your desire when you deliver your item to the museum.

     Please consider helping to make this adventure a success by submitting a timeless treasure to the museum by March 9.

     Students from DES will be exploring the display and we look forward to sharing your timeless treasures with each of them.

© 2015 Lane County Historical Society

Dighton, Kansas