The Homestead Act
seen through letters from eastern Oregon
Last updated: April 7, 2017 (PDT)
This exhibit uses letters sent to and from the Land Office in La Grande, eastern Oregon, to illustrate the steps involved in becoming a homesteader under the Homestead Act of 1862 and subsequent acts.
It gives insight into the lives of those early settlers and hopefully you will come away with an appreciation of their hard work during those first few years when they were just starting out.
The land office records of today show that many members of the same family homesteaded in the same areas, thus they could support and help each other over the years after their homesteads were established.
If any of you reading this have an ancestry of homesteading, I'd appreciate your feedback.
Click on a thumbnail to see each page in more detail
If you have any questions, suggestions for improvement or are interested in
buying these letters, please drop me a line at