by Lloyd Schade
We have worked the timber on our land for over 40 years. The trees have furnished us lumber for our homes, wood for The federal government had homesteading of federal land in the 1950s and 1960s in Alaska. This law allowed one homestead of 160 acres maximum for each head of a family. The homesteader was required to locate the land, stake the land out, and make a filing at the Anchorage Land Office, Bureau of Land Management.
From the time of filing, the homesteader had a certain time to comply with prove up requirements to be able to purchase the land. The homesteader was required to have a habitual house built before the purchase. The habitability of the house varied drastically as it was dependent upon the size of the family, the desire of the homesteader, and the attitude of the reviewing officer of the Bureau of Land Management. However, you were not required to live in the house for it to satisfy the requirement.
Another requirement was to live on the land for a period of time. A military veteran could opt to live on the land for 7 months during the first two years of prove up. A non-veteran was required to live on the land for 5 months a year for three years. Both Dad and I were veterans and took the seven month option.
The final requirement was to cultivate 1/8 portion of the land which meant dad and I had to each clear 20 acres of our 160 acres applied for.
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