Fort Rock in Lake County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Claiming the Desert
The Homestead Act of 1862 inspired thousands to seek land in the West. The law allowed heads of households, widows, and all single people over 21 years old to purchase 160 acres at $1.25 per acre, or by paying a $15 filing fee after 5 years of residence and cultivation.
The Homestead Law was seen as a great democratic measure by its supporters. Reform-minded easterners saw it as a way workers could escape low wages and deplorable working conditions. The law, however, was only a promise. The land was free, but traveling to the land, building a home, and breaking the sod required capital. The environment also worked to defeat the dreams of many – especially in regions like this. More than 1.3 million claims were filed in the United States before 1900, but less than half proved successful.
By the turn of the century, lands previously valued only for grazing became valuable for agriculture as farmers adopted new techniques such as deep plowing and sowing drought-resistant crops. Because dryland farming required greater investment and more land, Congress passed the Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909. This law, which allowed homesteaders to claim 320 acres, fueled a landrush already underway. Millions of acres fell under the plow and new communities sprang up across the West. Many of the first homesteaders
Location. 43° 21.348′ N, 121° 3.486′ W. Marker is in Fort Rock, Oregon, in Lake County. Marker is on Old Fort Rock Road (County Route 5-10) west of County Route 5-13, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in front of the Fort Rock Homestead Museum, along the boardwalk overlooking historic building exhibits. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Rock OR 97735, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Home Sweet Home (here, next to this marker); A Path to the Past (a few steps from this marker); The First People of Fort Rock (approx. 1.3 miles away); Cowboy, Horseman, Philosopher (approx. 1.3 miles away); The Birth of a Tuff Ring (approx. 1.3 miles away); Fort Rock State Park (approx. 1.3 miles away); Fort Rock (approx. 1.3 miles away); Reuban A. "Reub" Long (approx. 1.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Rock.
Categories. • Agriculture • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 3, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 54 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.