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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Rock in Lake County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Claiming the Desert

 
 
Claiming the Desert Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
1. Claiming the Desert Marker
Inscription.
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
Claiming the Desert Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
2. Claiming the Desert Marker (tall view)
in this region arrived after 1909.
 
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. AgricultureSettlements & Settlers
 
Marker detail: wagon and horses image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
3. Marker detail: wagon and horses
A sound wagon pulled by strong horses, such as the rig pictured above owned by the Beeler family in 1916, were essential to a homesteader's success.
Marker detail: homestead image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
4. Marker detail: homestead
Backbreaking labor and almost total isolation was the common lot of this region's early settlers, and C. P Hallse's homestead pictured above in 1916 proved no exception.
Claiming the Desert Marker (<i>wide view; adjacent marker at left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
5. Claiming the Desert Marker (wide view; adjacent marker at left)
Stratton House, <i>et. al.</i> (<i>historic exhibits near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
6. Stratton House, et. al. (historic exhibits near marker)
 
 
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.
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