"Because we’re land hungry," the daughter wrote back.
Between 1908, when homesteading began in Alaska and 1986, when it ended, more than a half a million acres of Alaska land were deeded to homesteaders. About 5,100 titles were granted to homesteaders beginning with the first one in 1908. Approximately 593,217 acres passed into the public sector. The average homestead was about 121 acres.
The history of homesteading in Alaska is filled with stories of hardship and shortage, stories of laughter and love. Some 6,800 people filled for homesteads but were never able to meet patent requirements after doing varying degrees of work on the land. Land was a big part of “why” they came to Alaska. But there are other factors.
Anchorage resident Connie Thompson says her homestead years were “the most peaceful” of her life. Other homesteaders claim it is a “great experience,” one full of toil and hardship. But one balanced with achievement, self-confidence and closeness to nature.
And it helps to have a sense of humor, Ms. Thompson says, adding that the hardest thing about homesteading is “getting inside the outhouse with your snowshoes on.”
Excerpt from an article published in the Anchorage Times, on April 12, 1978.
"Homesteading in Alaska, the pamphlets will tell you, is finished. Gone. And it's true, in the sense..."
"That's called Urban Homesteading, a pale imitation of what still exists in but one state - Alaska..."
"As such, they were among the last of America's homesteaders, joining a tradition of pioneers..."