Lakeland Sod High School – Brown County NE

Project type: Education and Health, Schools
Quality of Information:
Site Survival:
View Project in a Separate Window


As a result of the drought and the Great Depression in general, many farmers were financially unable to send their children to adjoining towns to high school. During normal times, parents would have been able to provide a high school education for their children. In rural districts 12, 14 and 49 in Brown County, approximately twenty miles southwest of Ainsworth, twelve pupils were ready to enter high school in the fall of 1934, but would be denied this education unless some means of providing for their schooling was provided closer to home. On July 6, 1934, the school boards of the three districts met and decided to build a consolidated high school. The question of providing a quick and cheap type of construction arose because of a shortage of time and funds. The school boards decided to build a sod building on Section 26, Township 27N, Range 24 West.

Assistance was requested from the local Work Division of the Nebraska Emergency Relief Administration (ERA). A project was submitted and approved, and construction began on July 20th. Relief labor and teams were assigned to the work. Supervision was carried on by a foreman from the relief rolls. This foreman was qualified for the planning of construction, carpenter work, and general construction. Finish material was supplied from funds of the school districts. Sod for the walls was cut from old lake beds nearby. Poles for dimension materials were cut from native timber. The building was completed on September 10, 1934. The new school was dedicated on September 19th with state officials and patrons present.

Source notes

Work Relief in Nebraska: Report of the Work Division of the Nebraska Emergency Relief Administration, April 1, 1934 – July 1, 1935.  Lincoln, Nebraska, November 1935.

Project originally submitted by Jill Dolberg on July 13, 2015.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info


Location notes: Section 26, Township 27N, Range 24W

Coordinates: 41.492537, -99.901813

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.


We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.