U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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BLM Recognizes Alaska Homesteaders at 4th of July Event

Bud Cribley and Senator Begich presenting a plaque to homesteader Elizabeth Smith
Senator Mark Begich and BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley presents a plaque to the last woman homesteader, Elizabeth (Betty) Smith.
BLM Alaska celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act by recognizing some of the last homesteaders in the nation and sponsoring an exhibit at Anchorage’s 4th of July celebration.

Several Alaskan homesteaders and homesteader descendants were honored as grand marshals and rode in antique cars as part of the 4th of July parade through downtown Anchorage.  Senator Mark Begich and BLM-Alaska State Director Bud Cribley presented commemorative plaques to the homesteaders, including Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, the last woman in the United States to receive an agricultural homestead patent and Kenneth Deardorff, America’s final homesteader.

The tent, reminiscent of an early U.S. Land Office, offered homestead information and activities, souvenir replica land patent certificates, and old-fashioned surveying equipment.

The BLM also observed the 200th anniversary of the General Land Office at this event. The General Land Office oversaw homesteading until 1946 when BLM assumed responsibility for homesteading activities. Since most homesteading in Alaska was done after 1946, more homesteads were patented in Alaska under the BLM than the GLO!

- Alissa Varrati
Acting Deputy Cheif,
Office of Communications

See photos from the celebration on Flickr flickr Visit our BLM-Alaska Flickr page at www.flickr.com/blmalaska


Click on the thumbnails of each photo to view larger image and download by "Save As"

Photo

Caption

The Statue of Liberty blow up outside tent

The Statue of Liberty made an appearance outside of the BLM tent.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Surveyors Mike Wilson and Chris McDonald education the public on the days of the General Land Office

Surveyors Mike Wilson and Chris McDonald
Mike Wilson in old time custome and Chris McDonald teach the public about cadastral survey and the history of the General Land Office.

Photo by Robert King

 Surveyor Mike Wilson shows people how survey equipment works and talks about the days of the General Land Office

Step right up and learn about the Genral Land Office and how the west was surveyed!

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Surveyor Mike Wilson shows people how survey equipment works and talks about the days of the General Land Office

Surveyor Mike Wilson shows people how survey equipment works and talks about the days of the General Land Office.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Front of the BLM Homesteading/General Land Office Anniversary tent

Front of the BLM Homesteading/General Land Office Anniversary tent.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Robert King and the Homesteaders Crew

Robert King and the Homesteaders Crew
(Left to Right) BLM Archaeologist Robert King, William J. Smith, Rose Smith Edgren, George Harbeson, Jr, Hal Post, Sherry Smith, Mary Lovel, Clyde Lovel, and (Seated) Elizabeth Smith.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Robert King and the 2nd generation of the Smith Family

BLM Archaeologist and Homesteading Historian Robert King and the 2nd generation of the Smith Family
(Left to Right) BLM Archaeologist Robert King, Sherry Smith, William J. Smith, and Rose Smith Edgren.

Photo by Carol Belenski

 Event Coordinator and Homesteader family members

BLM Event Coordinator Carol Belenski and Homesteader Family Members
(Left to Right) Michele Lovel, Carol Belenski, Sherry Smith, and Rose Smith Edgren.

Photo by Robert King

 George Harbeson, Jr. and Hal Post outside of their parade car

George Harbeson, Jr. and Hal Post outside of their parade car.

Photo by Robert King

 Homesteaders in the Grand Marshall car ready to go!

Homesteaders in the Grand Marshal car ready to go!
Elizabeth Smith and Clyde and Mary Lovel in the Grand Marshall car.

Photo by Robert King

 Homesteaders in old cars making at the start of the parade

Homesteaders in old cars making at the start of the parade.

Photo by Robert King 

Grand Marshall Car carrying homesteaders

Grand Marshal Car carrying homesteaders.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Elizabeth Smith and Mary Lovel wave to the crowd

Elizabeth Smith and Mary Lovel wave to the crowd.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Homesteaders in the Grand Marshall car during the parade

Homesteaders in the Grand Marshal car during the parade.
Homesteaders in old cars making their way to the parade area.

Photo by Robert King

 2nd and 3rd Homesteader cars making the turn in the parade

Second and Third Homesteader cars making the turn in the parade.

Photo by Robert King

 Grand Marshell Homesteader car headed down 9th Ave

Homesteader car headed down 9th Ave.

Photo by Robert King

 The crowd claps as the 2nd and 3rd homesteader cars pass by on 9th Ave.

The crowd claps as the second and third homesteader cars pass by on 9th Ave.

Photo by Robert King

 The crowd waves to the homesteaders in the Grand Marshall car

The crowd waves to the homesteaders in the Grand Marshal car.

Photo by Robert King

 Radio Flyer mobile

The Radio Flyer mobile made an appearance at the parade from the Valley.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Public Affairs Specialist Ruth McCoard holding the Commemorative certificates and Archaeologist Robert King hold a copy of the Last Homestead Patent.

Get your commemorative 4th of July Homesteading Patent Certificate!
Public Affairs Specialist Ruth McCoard holding the Commemorative certificates and Archaeologist Robert King hold a copy of the Last Homestead Patent.

Photo by Vanessa Rathbun

 BLMer Vanessa Rathbun making Homesteading Patent Certificates

BLMer Vanessa Rathbun making Homesteading Patent Certificates.

Photo by Robert King

 Public Affairs Specialist KJ Mushovic fills out the Homesteading Patent

Filling out the homesteading certificate.
Public Affairs Specialist KJ Mushovic fills out the commemorative Homesteading Patent Certificate for a gentlemen.

Photo by Robert King

 People interested in picking up posters

People interested in picking up homesteading posters.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 kids coloring at the coloring table inside the BLM tent

BLM's ABC Fisheries coloring book was a hit!
BLMer Karen Laubenstein inspiring kids to color the BLM ABC Fisheries coloring book and learn more about the species of fish in Alaska and their habitat.

Photo by Robert King

 Matthew Vos talking a break from photography to color and interact with the kids

Public Affairs Assistant Matthew Vos taking a break from photography to color and interact with the kids.

Photo by Robert King

 The public hanging out in our Homesteading and General Land Office tent

The public learning more about the anniversaries in our Homesteading and General Land Office tent.

Photo by Robert King

 Bud Cribley talks with Hal Post and Senator Mark begich talks to George Harbeson, Jr. in the crowd of people outside of the BLM tent.

Bud Cribley and Senator Mark Begich talking to homesteaders.
Bud Cribley talks with Hal Post and Senator Mark Begich talks to George Harbeson, Jr. in the crowd of people outside of the BLM tent.

Photo by Robert King

 BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley delivering his speech

BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley delivering his speech.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 BLM Archaeologist Robert King receiving a plaque on behalf of homesteader Kenneth W. Deardorff from Senator Mark Begich

BLM Archaeologist Robert King accepts a plaque on behalf of Kenneth W. Deardorff, the last homesteader in the nation, (he could not attend this event) from Senator Mark Begich.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Last woman homesteader Elizabeth Smith receives plaque from Senator Mark Begich and BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley.

Last woman homesteader Elizabeth Smith receives plaque from Senator Mark Begich and BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Homesteader William J. Sith receives plaque

William J. Sith receives plaque from Senator Mark Begich and Alaska State Director Bud Cribley.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Lovels receive plaque

Mary and Clyde Lovel receive plaque from Senator Mark Begich and BLM-Alaska State Director Bud Cribley.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Hal Post receives his plaque from Senator Mark Begich

Hal Post receives his plaque from Senator Mark Begich.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Applauding fans of homesteaders!

Applauding fans of homesteaders!

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Robert King, Elizabeth Smith with her plaque and Bud Cribley

Robert King, Elizabeth Smith and Bud Cribley photo op.
BLM Archaeologist Robert King, last woman homesteader Elizabeth Smith with her plaque, and BLM Alaska State Director Bud Cribley.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Homesteaders authographying posters

Get your Alaska Homesteading poster autographed!
William Smith, Elizabeth Smith, Mary and Clyde Lovel, Hal Post, and George Harbeson, Jr. autograph the Alaska Homesteading poster.

Photo by Robert King

 Elizabeth Smith autographing Alaska Homesteading posters

Elizabeth Smith autographing Alaska Homesteading posters.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 Clyde Lovel autographing the Alaska Homesteading Poster

Clyde Lovel autographing the Alaska Homesteading poster.

Photo by Ruth McCoard

 Man getting his poster signed by the homesteaders

People came into the BLM tent and got their posters signed by the homesteaders.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 150th Anniversary of Homesteading Display inside the tent.

150th Anniversary of Homesteading Display inside the tent.

Photo by Matthew Vos

 BLMer Vanessa Rathbun hands out Fisheries Coloring books to families outside of the BLM tent and directs them to the tent and the coloring tables.

BLMer Vanessa Rathbun hands out Fisheries Coloring books to families outside of the BLM tent and directs them to the tent and the coloring tables.

Photos by Matthew Vos

 Talking with the Last Woman Homesteader

Talking with the Last Woman Homesteader.
Members of the public were able to talk with Elizabeth Smith, the last female homesteader, and the other homesteaders during a Talking Circle.

Photo by Robert King

 Boy reading BLM ABC Fisheries Coloring Book

Future BLM Fisheries Biologist!

Photo by Matthew Vos

 BLM Writer/Editor Karen Laubenstein hands out BLM-Alaska's ABC Fisheries coloring bookBLM Writer/Editor Karen Laubenstein hands out BLM-Alaska's ABC Fisheries coloring book.

Photo by Matthew Vos
 crowd at 4th of July celebration outside of tent

What a turn out!

Photo by Matthew Vos


 
Last updated: 07-27-2012