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Sod Roofs on the Cabins of Bluff

The cabins of Bluff were constructed from cottonwood trees that grew abundantly along the river banks. Each
cabin's roof was constructed by covering lightly laid limbs (which spanned the cabin's central beam and the
outside walls) with burlap, straw and a thick layer of sand. The roofs provided good insulation, helping to
maintain heat in the winter and protecting the inhabitants from the sun in summer, but as for keeping out the
water during a heavy rain storm, the roofs were of little value. Decribing the sod roofs Albert R. Lyman recorded,
"...roofed them with thick coats of sand. Which feathered out into a crop of runty sunflowers and stink-weed, if
the seed-weed had time to sprout before the wind carried the sand away. But whether it raised weeds or blew
away, it never turned the rain, which dripped dismally from it long after the sky was clear."

Over time the cabin was expanded. Adjacent cabins were connected with a framed breezeway
and a framed kitchen was added. The kitchen was removed during the restoration work.

Don't miss the rest of our virtual tour of Bluff, Utah in 266 images.