How Lincoln settled the West

How Lincoln settled the West

It’s been 150 years since president’s pen brought flood of farmers
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A horse-drawn hay rake on the family homestead rests with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the background. It was a rake like this and a runaway team of horses that caused the death of John Brandenburg’s great-great-grandfather.
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John Brandenburg of Westcliffe stands next to the saddle-notch log cabin his ancestors brought from the mining camp of Rosita and re-assembled on their homestead claim.
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A homesteader’s house on the eastern Colorado Plains in El Paso County included an attached stone cellar.
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Having homesteaded one of the last quarter sections on Missouri Heights north of Carbondale in Garfield County, this homesteader lived alone with his border collie when this photo was taken in 1977.
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Many homesteaders left their claims. Tumbleweeds fill the doorway of this Colorado high plains sod dugout, but the legacy of private land ownership in the West continues because of the 1862 Homestead Act.
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By the 1910s and 1920s homesteaders on Colorado’s eastern plains could have lumber shipped in from nearby railroads. Hipped roofs on small four-room homes became popular.
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Some of the last free land taken up in America was in the northwest corner of Colorado in Moffat County. This homestead was made of adobe and may have also served as a stop for stagecoaches.
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