Homestead National Monument of America
The Freeman School at Homestead National Monument of America
Commemorating the Homestead Act of 1862, the Homestead National Monument of America is on that 160-acre homestead that was claimed by Daniel Freeman. This was the very first homestead claimed under the auspices of that Homestead Act, filed early in the day on January 1, 1863. As the National Park Service website states: "The cry was FREE LAND!! The Homestead Act of 1862 was one of the most significant and enduring events in the westward expansion of the United States. By granting free land it allowed any man or woman a chance to live the American Dream of owning their own land. Visit this fee free Unit in the National Park System to gain an understanding of the impact of the Homestead Act."
More than 270 million acres of land were transferred from the government into the hands of individuals under the Homestead Act of 1862. At the Homestead National Monument of America there's a visitor center, a tract of tallgrass prairie and a parking lot exactly 1-acre in size (just so folks can see what 1 acre really is). Between Labor Day and Memorial Day, the Heritage Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5 pm, and from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the Heritage Center is open daily from 8:30 am to 6 pm. Outdoor trails are open from sunrise to sunset. The Freemen School is available to visit by request only (the Freeman School is a one-room school that was in operation from 1872 to 1967). The park is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Tallgrass prairie at the Homestead National Monument of America
Photo of the Heritage Center courtesy of the National Park Service
Photo of the tallgrass prairie courtesy of Wikipedia userid Nationalparks, CCA-by-SA 2.5 License