Photo of Gene Roncka Mural
The Congressional legislation that created Homestead National Monument of America required the monument "to retain for posterity a proper memorial emblematical of the hardships and the pioneer life through which the early settlers passed in the settlement, cultivation and civilization of the Great West." The Secretary of the Interior was directed to "erect suitable buildings to be used as a museum in which shall be preserved literature applying to such settlement and agricultural implements used in bringing the western plains to present high state of civilization [and to] use other objects [which] may perpetuate the history of the country mainly developed by the homestead law." As a result Homestead National Monument has an extensive collection of various documents and household and agricultural items. Some of these are on display in the Heritage Center, many others are stored in the Museum Collections storage room.
Did You Know?
Under the Homestead Act, 270 million acres of land, or 10% of the nation, was given away. The only monetary payment for each 160 acre claim was an $18 filing fee.
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