Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Old Homesteads

I went to a ash spreading (i.e., a type of funeral really) out at an old homestead the other day. By 4x4, it was a long way out. Long, long way, or so it felt. I learned while there that the original homestead had first been filed and occupied in 1917, a big year for homesteading.

It was a very interesting place, and felt very isolated. In visiting about that with my father in law, however, he noted that there had been another homestead just over the hill. And, as I've likely noted here before, there were tiny homesteads all over at that time. It was isolated, but sort of locally isolated. There were, as there were with most of these outfits, another homestead just a few hours ride away, at most, if that.

That is not to say that they weren't way out. I'd guess that this place was at least a full days ride from the nearest town at that time. Even when cars were commonly owned, and they were coming in just about that time, it would have taken the better part of a day to get to town, or a town (there were a couple of very small, but viable towns, about equal distance to this place at that time). It's interesting how agricultural units everywhere in North American have become bigger over time, even if they are all closer now, in terms of time, to a city or town.