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Selected Bibliography

If you would like to learn more about homesteading in Alaska, please check out these references:

Anders, Joyce J.
1997 Anders of Two Rivers: A California Family Homesteads in Alaska. Foreword by Mike Stepovich, Last Territorial Governor of Alaska. (paperback, 121 pp.) – Story of the Anders family with 6 children who homesteaded near Fairbanks, Alaska at the community of Two Rivers starting in 1959.
Barry, Mary J.
2000 Jack and Nellie Brown: Pioneers Settlers of Anchorage, Alaska. Anchorage, AK: private printing (paperback, 142 pp. includes index & bibliography) – Story of Jack and Nellie Brown who homesteaded at Anchorage in the early 1910s.
Brice, Jennifer
1998 The Last Settlers. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne Univ. Press (hardback, 171 pp.) – Story of some of the people who settled in the last areas in Alaska opened for a type of homesteading in central Alaska in early 1980s. The volume also includes photographs by Charles Mason.
Brock, Russell
2003 Bachelor’s Roost: Letters From An Alaskan Homestead. Bloomington, IN: 1st Books LaVation Publishing. (paperback, 360 pp.) – Story of the Alaskan homesteading experience of Russell Brock (deceased June 1998), as told through 47 letter he wrote during 1959-1961. On June 29, 1959, he filed on a recently relinquished homestead claim near Kashwitna at Milepost 194 on the Alaska Railroad.
Carberry, Michael & Donna Lane
1986 Patterns of the past: An Inventory of Anchorage’s Historic Resources. Anchorage, AK: Municipality of Anchorage Community Planning Dept. (softbound, 218 pp.) – Chapter 8 (pp. 183-192) provides an overview of homesteading in Alaska and the earliest homesteads in the Anchorage area.
Carey, Mary (with illustrations by Doug Linstrand)
1982 Green Gold in Alaska: A Story of Homesteading in the Land of Change and Challenge. Willow, AK (Self-Published) (hardcover, 351 pp.) – The author says of her work: “This story is ‘FACTION’. The setting and time element, as well as most of the incidents, are real. It is based on my own homesteading experiences in a fly-in area of the Alaska wilderness, near Mt. McKinley.” 
Carstensen, Vernon (editor)
1963 The Public Lands: Studies in the History of the Public Domain. Madison, WI: Univ. of Wisconsin Press (hardback, 522 pp. includes index) – This book, published following the 150th anniversary of the creation of the General Land Office, brings together some of the best articles on the history of public land that have appeared in historical and other journals in the first half of the 20th century. Many directly or indirectly concern homesteading, with two articles by Paul Wallace Gates and Fred A. Shannon specifically on homesteading (and cited individually under the “Articles” section of this bibliography). 
Cobb, Norma and Charles W. Sasser
2000 Arctic Homestead: The True Story of One family’s Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds.   New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin (paperback, 294 pp.) – Story of Norma and Lester Cobb and their 5 children who in 1974 settled on land north of Fairbanks, Alaska near the Yukon River and Manley Hot Springs, Alaska.
Curtis, Cherie
1999 Homestead Kid: True Stories of Homestead Life Deep in the Alaskan Interior. Kearney, NE: Morris Publishing (paperback, 210 pp.) – Stories about by a woman who grew up 49.5 miles north of Fairbanks, AK on purchased land along the Elliott Highway. Her family came to Alaska in the early 1971, too late to homestead in that area.
Daugherty, Paula M. & Becky M. Saleeby
1998 Elmendorf Air Force Base Homestead Study. Anchorage, AK: National Park Service (Study #NPS D-336) (softbound, c130 pp. includes bibliography) – This was a study done for Elmendorf Air Force Base at Anchorage, Alaska. 
Dickerson, M. Ashley
1991 Delayed Justice For Sale. Anchorage, AK: Al-Acres, Inc. Private Printing (paperback, p. 263 pp. ) – This is the autobiography of Mahala Ashley Dickerson (1912-2007), Alabama’s first black female attorney, who homesteaded in Alaska as well as practiced law there. She received her homestead patent for 160 acres (dated 3/24/1964) on Friday, March 27, 1964, the same day as the great earthquake. She was a friend of many noted Civil Rights leaders including Rosa Parks.

Griffin, Joy
1995 Home Sweet Homestead: Sketches of Pioneer Life in Interior Alaska. Anchorage, AK: Alaska Press (paperback, 192 pp.) – This is story of homesteaders Norman R. (“Dick”) Griffin & his wife Joy and family homesteading northwest of Fairbanks, Alaska off the Elliott Highway starting in 1967. He received patent to the 160-acre homestead on 7/5/1977 as one of the later homesteaders in the state. With the construction of the oil pipeline, the Elliott Highway boomed with traffic and they sold parts of their land with a small community resulting. Later, in 1980, they moved to Homer, Alaska. Joy died in 2002.

Harbeson, George, Jr.
2010 Homesteaders in the Headlights. Walnut Creek, CA: Hardscratch Press. (paperback, 301 pp. plus 20 additional pages including index, acknowledgements, and information about the author) – This tells the story of George S. R. Harbeson, Sr. (1920-1985), a native of New Jersey and World War II veteran. He drove to Alaska with his family in 1954 in a Chevy CarryAll, to teach at Wasilla High School. In 1959, Harbeson filed for a homestead on land overlooking Cook Inlet near the old town of Knik, south of Wasilla. On February 5, 1964, he was awarded title to a 31.55-acre homestead, which his family owns today. The story of the family’s homestead adventures are told in this book by his son, George Harbeson, Jr.

Hollinger, Kristy
March 2001 Homesteads on Fort Richardson, Alaska. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State Univ. Center for Ecological Management of Military Lands (Publication # CEMML TPS 01-4). (spiral bound, 105 pp. includes index of homesteaders) – This was a study done for Fort Richardson, a U.S. Army military base at Anchorage, Alaska. On 8/3/2009, it was also available at this website:
Kavanaugh, Ethel
1950 Wilderness Homesteaders. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, Ltd. (hardback, 303 pp., 2nd Printing 1951) – This is the story of Ethel Kavanaugh’s experiences homesteading on the Kenai Peninsula starting in 1942 after coming to Alaska in 1935. On Nov. 26, 1956, she received a patent for her 160-acre homestead near Homer. Her daughter Dorothy Clifton helped her mother with her homesteading and later filed a homestead claim of her own on adjoining land. (Dorothy received patent to her 160-acre homestead on Aug. 27, 1958.   Note: Having mother-daughter homesteaders was uncommon in Alaska and probably not common anywhere.)
King, Robert E.
2001 The Last Homestead: Is it Lime Village, Portage, or Sleetmute? in BLM-Alaska Frontiers, Vol. 83, Fall 2001, pp. 4-5. This article describes the last lands claimed and patented under homesteading laws in Alaska.
King, Robert E.
2009 Climate Change Legislation in the 19th Century? in BLM-Alaska Frontiers, Vol. 108, Fall 2009/Winter 2010, pp. 11-12. This article describes the circumstances surrounding the passage of the Timber Culture Acts of the 1870s that helped homesteaders and other acquire more lands. Part of the thinking behind the Tiber Culture Acts was that they would help promote climate change in the drier Great Plains portion of the nation by causing more rain to fall due to the planting of trees along with the plowing up of the thick sod of the Plains.

Lincoln, Elverda F.                                                                                                         1992 Udder Confusion: An Alaska Homesteader’s True-Life Adventures (2nd Edition 2009). Anchorage, AK: Publication Consultants (paperback, 192 pp.) – Story of homesteading in Alaska as recalled by the author. Mrs. Lincoln and her husband and oldest child drove to Alaska in 1950, first intending to homestead on the Kenai Peninsula but instead settled in the Matanuska Valley north of Anchorage. In 1954, they were able to settle on a relinquished homestead claim and “prove up” in a year’s time after building a dwelling. Under special Veteran’s Preference rights in force in Alaska at that time, no cultivation of the land was needed, with their homestead patent dated Sept. 16, 1955.

Lovel, Mary T.
2006 Journey to a Dream. Sherman, AK: Sherman Publishing (Self-Published). (paperback, 172 pp.) – Story of Mary and Clyde Lovel who left Missouri in 1963 with their family and came to Alaska where they homesteaded near Sherman (south of Curry) Alaska. On April 30, 1974, Clyde W. Lovel received a patent for their 77.41-acre homestead.
Lovel, Mary T.
2010 Suddenly It’s Spring. Sherman, AK: Sherman Publishing (Self-Published). (paperback, 159 pp.) – More of the story of Mary and Clyde Lovel who left Missouri in 1963 with their family and came to Alaska where they homesteaded near Sherman (south of Curry) Alaska. This book also includes an appendix with recipes and a special photo section.
McJunkin, Shirley
2001 Homesteading on the Kenai. Baltimore, MD: AmErica House (Self-Published) (paperback, 107 pp.) – Story of a family who came to Alaska in 1959 and began homesteading on the Kenai Peninsula near Homer, Alaska, but left after a few month without receiving a homestead.
Markey, Martha
2007 Alaska’s Homesteaders. North Pole, AK: Ladybug Publishing (Self-Published) (paperback, 190 pp.) – Story of a young married couple that homesteaded in 1956, twelve miles from Fairbanks, Alaska. Due to not meeting minimal agricultural requirements for the full 160 acres they applied for, they initially received a patent for 80 in 1962. They applied for a second 80-acre tract and got that as a homestead in 1969. The book includes some of their explorations and travels in Alaska.
Price, Kathy
Sept. 2002 Homesteads on Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State Univ. Center for Ecological Management of Military Lands (Publication # CEMML TPS 02-9). (spiral bound, 72 pp. includes bibliography) – This was a study done for Fort Wainwright, a U.S. Army military base at Fairbanks, Alaska. On 8/3/2009, it was also available at this website:

Redding, Robert
1990 One Man’s Homestead. Anchorage, AK: Great Northwest Publishing and Distributing Co., Inc. (paperback, 111 pp.) This is the story of Redding’s attempts at homesteading in Alaska. First he filed near Fairbanks but a bad flood in 1947 caused him to abandon the land. Later, in the early 1950s he tried homesteading again near Slana off the Glenn Highway. He receive patent for a 20-acre homestead on 11/17/1959 near Duffy’s Roadhouse at Slana on the north side of the Glenn Highway but sold out in 1977.  

Short, Wayne
1962 The Cheechakoes.  New York, NY: Random House (hardback, 245 pp.) This is the story of a family that settled at Surprise Harbor at the tip of great Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. The father, a WW I veteran, had previously applied to come to Alaska to settle in the Matanuska Colony of the 1930s, but the quota for those drawn to be included had been reached before his name came up. The family appears to have lived on the land for a time and never tried to formally homestead it.

Stimple, Bert
1962 Fun on the Farm in Alaska. New York: Carlton Press (hardback, 165 pp.) This is the homesteading story of Ralph “Bert” Stimple who received a patent on 1/15/1943 for a 160-acre homestead in the Fairbanks area.

Stout, Jack and Rita
2010 To Hell With Togetherness: The Story of an Alaskan Family Living Together on a Remote Homestead West of Anchorage 1957-1962. Eagle River, AK: Northbooks (paperback, 183 pp.) – This is a book by a family that homesteaded on Point MacKenzie across Cook Inlet from Anchorage, AK. It includes pictures from the time the family homesteaded and ones taken more recently, including inside their homestead house.
Wendt, Jeanne M.
2001 Once Upon a Homestead: Pioneering in the Alaska Territory. Wasilla, AK: Goldstream Publications. (paperback, 108 pp.) – Story of the Wendt family that homesteaded northeast of Fairbanks on the Chena Hot Springs Road starting in 1950.

Yearly Statistics for Homesteads Patented in Alaska Pre-1905 to 1961
Read the History of Homesteading in Alaska Brochure!
History of Alaska Homesteading Brochure
Download print version

Archaeology Month Poster- Celebrating the History of Homesteading

Check out this year's Archaeology Month Poster
Homesteading in Alaska 1898-1988

For more information contact:
Alaska State Office
Bureau of Land Management
222 W. 7th Ave., Unit 13
Anchorage, AK 99513
Public Room: 907-271-5960
FAX: 907-271-3684