Monday, March 30, 2015

Homesteaders Cabin on the Claim [circa 1900]

From our collection of old postcards ...

Number 3 in a series of cards, this one is titled The Homesteaders Cabin on the Claim, Montana.

Determining the date of publication of this unused card is a bit of a guess. Based on illustrations used on other cards in the series (and a little research on homesteading) it appears to be around 1900, plus or minus a few years. The Great Northern Railway published the cards to attract business along their new (at the time) rail line connecting the center of the US to the Pacific Northwest.

If you are curious about homesteading in the USA, check out this Wikipedia article on the Homestead Acts.

So how about it ... Does this card leave you with any appreciation of homesteaders?

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. I saw your new post over at Red's place in his sidebar, but it hasn't shown up in my news feed yet. I just came on over to say hello and visit the homesteaders. What is the difference between a house and a cabin?

    1. Hi DJan, In this particular case, I don't think there is any difference.

  2. John, I guess "cabin" sounds more adventurous and therefore more attractive to folks. From the looks of it, I'd not be tempted to make the trip to homestead. My husband's grandfather was a homesteader in South Dakota, and we have the original paper from that grant.

  3. My daughter is studying about this railway in history class!!!

  4. a meager beginning, but at least it is shelter! you can make it 'home'. :)

  5. Oh, I think I am really going to enjoy this series, John! :)

  6. Looks like the first version of mobile homes :))
    And I think the word cabin is used for a very
    tiny building like a hut. So you can't really
    call those a "house" :))
    I admire the women of those days - living on
    very limited space, doing a lot of hard work,
    and wearing a starched white blouse :D
    Have a fine day and week ahead

  7. Amazing how much has changed in a relatively short time!

  8. It was a hard life back then, we come a long way..Great postcard!

  9. You could certainly do a post on the hardship of homesteaders. When I was a kids some of these shacks were still being used.

  10. Very nice illustration! I do admire the homesteaders. My ancestors moved to Iowa in the 1850s (as I've probably mentioned before), and some of them bought land from the man who was the very first to homestead the land. My folks didn't have it easy to start with, but the man they bought the land from headed even further west--I guess he needed "elbow room!"

  11. It looks like a wooden caravan. No real house and I think a little cold. This is really interesting John!

  12. I miss those days of post cars, letters and stamps...
    Very nice one sir :)

  13. Homesteading looks like a very hard life to me!


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