Thursday, November 9, 2017

Limestone Houses Still Stand Near Dorchester

As the leaves continue to drop from the trees, take a late autumn drive in the countryside south of Dorchester and you will spot an old stone house or two. 

These structures played an important role in the permanent settlement of the Dorchester and Pleasant Hill areas.  

Fortunately for us, more than 125 years after their construction, some of these homes still stand, allowing the residents of the 21st century to take a step back in time.

When the first European settlers came to Saline County in the 1850s and 1860s, quality lumber had to be brought via the Missouri River and by wagon from Nebraska City.  That was a trip that could take several weeks.  As an alternative, most homes were either dugouts or made from sod or limestone.

Luckily for our pioneer ancestors, a vein of limestone runs near Pleasant Hill and Turkey Creek. Quarries and lime kilns could be found throughout the Pleasant Hill precinct, according to the Dorchester Centennial history book. 

Some of these quarries operated until the mid-twentieth century, when they ceased to be financially viable.

The Sukraw house, Brown house, Pisar house and barn, Freude house and See house were prime examples of this early architecture.  

They were as practical as they were sturdy.

A map of the stone home locations can be found on page 198 of the Dorchester Centennial history book.  (Note: The centennial book can be found here, using the username "dorchester" and password "longhorns".)

We encourage Times readers to explore the living history and heritage of their home area. But please respect the rights of the owners and don't set foot on these properties without getting permission.


  1. Second Amendment? Are you implying that I'll get shot if I place a toe on someone else's property? How backwaterish of you!

    I was tired of all the gun-toting gun nuts, one of the reasons I left for California, where the future is bright and we dont need guns to prove our self worth.

    1. "The future is bright in California"????? Are you kidding me?! People like you are one of the reasons I want to move FROM California BACK to Nebraska where I grew up! The future is bright out here if you are wanting to mooch off the few of us taxpaying legal US citizens that reside in this once great state. Bow down to your socialism loving Governor Moonbeam while you ride the bullet train to Nowhere, Utopia amigo!

  2. A preservation effort to save some of those old houses would be great. I remember seeing them when I was a kid.

  3. I'm sure that this statement " But please respect the rights of private property owners and do not set foot on these properties without permission." had nothing to do with guns and more to do with respecting property owners... as I'm sure you would not like me to travel to California and start walking around in your yard and peeking in your windows...


Village Dweller checks all reader comments to determine if they are appropriate for print.