Experience Our Heritage

Houses shaped like a grinder?

Houses shaped like a grinder?


When Goodland was first becoming a town, the people who decided to make Goodland their home needed homes.  This was a building period, as settlers built their own dwellings made from materials they could find easily.  Carpenters would put houses up as fast as they could and for little money, as most settlers did not have a lot to begin with.  These houses were called Coffee Grinder Houses.

High Plains Museum │ HHG143
American Coffee Mill made by Charles Parker Company in Meriden, Connecticut, circa 1960-1900, used by a Sherman County Resident.

A Coffee Grinder House was named because it resembled a coffee grinder.  Coffee Grinder Houses were twenty-four feet by twenty-four feet.  They had four rooms which included a kitchen, living room, and two bedrooms; there was no indoor plumbing in the house.  The houses were built with sheathing or shiplap and were then covered with drop-siding.  The middle of the house roof had a chimney sticking out of it and this is what would heat the entire house. Notice the similarities in the pictures.  You can see the base of the house, the roof and the chimney all in the coffee grinder.

High Plains Museum | PM090HOUSES "Coffee Mill Row." The name is due to the shape of the houses. Located on West side of Caldwell Street between 15th and 16th streets. Pictured is the "Dora" Moore family from Edson visiting Goodland.

The houses that were built in Goodland were part of Coffee Mill Row.  Several of these types of houses were built on Caldwell Street and earned the name Coffee Mill Row.  Today in Goodland we still have several Coffee Grinder Houses standing between 15th and 16th streets on Caldwell.  Some of the houses have been remodeled and modernized but some remain the same.

There are many remnants of the first settlers in Goodland today. Much of the early architecture still stands in Goodland, especially on main street. Much like Coffee Mill Row, some of the buildings have been updated but some still retain that historic character. For more information on Goodland arctitecture, stop by the museum to pick up a brochure and take a tour of historic structures in Goodland. So come by the museum for some coffee (it’s free!) and learn about the people who settled in Goodland, then take a drive and see the houses these people settled down in, and stop by Olde Westport Spice & Trading Company store to buy some Goodland coffee.

Have any Question or Comment?

2 comments on “Houses shaped like a grinder?

autumn verrett

My parents bought a old coffee grinder from a yard sale and I was trying to figure out where it could be from and how old it is. Is there anyway I can send a picture of it and someone can help me out with what they might have.

K. Anderson

Good Morning! Congrats on your find! As to the identification of the coffee grinder, start by examining the grinder for any manufacturer seals or markings. That will give you your first clue. If it does have markings you should be able to conduct a web search for that company. If you would like to send a photo you can, but I cannot guarantee we will be able to help you. You can forward a photo to museum-at-cityofgoodland.org. If there are markings on the grinder send us a photo of those markings and we’ll see if we can’t help.