General Land Office & Homestead Act Commemoration Events

BLM Eastern States

Commemorating 200 Years
Of the General Land Office
April 25, 2012
BLM Eastern States Office, Springfield, VA

Join BLM Director Bob Abbey and the employees of the BLM Eastern States Office for an event commemorating the creation of the General Land Office 200 years ago, on April 25, 2012.  This event will include tours of the vaults where millions of land records are stored, as well as the modern facility that scans and preserves the documents.

Location: BLM Eastern States, 7450 Boston Boulevard, Springfield VA 22153

Time: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

For more information or to RSVP, contact Davida Carnahan, email:

Alaska: Living History on July 4

BLM-Alaska will host a homesteading themed booth at the Anchorage, Alaska 4th of July celebration. Expected attendance is 30,000 people. Planned events include:

  • Story Telling Circle led by Alaskan homesteaders (tentative)
  • Gold panning/Alaska Geology demonstration (tentative)
  • Interpretive display, information and handouts including replicas of tents which were typical among Alaska homesteaders; and
  • Homesteading themed float in the 4th of July Parade.  For more information, contact Artealia Gilliard,

Arizona: GLO and the State Centennial

The State of Arizona is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, and BLM Arizona will be cosponsoring an event in Phoenix on September 27 to celebrate the General Land Office. The history and land ownership patterns in Arizona will be discussed to complement other activities in conjunction with Arizona's Centennial. More information here  

California: Living History at the L.A. County Fair

BLM's California State Office will be building a replica General Land Office at the Los Angeles County Fair, the largest county fair in the U.S., set for August 31-September 30, 2012. More than 1 million people are expected to attend the event, including 145,000 children.  The GLO exhibit will include a self-guided tour of the replica Land Office.

Colorado: BLM Partners on GLO Art Contest

BLM's Colorado State, Office Center of the American West, and the Public Lands Fondation are hosting an art compeititon  with the General Land Office as the overall theme.  Additional theme include the value of public lands; personal experiences or connection to public lands; and how public lands are part of a family heritage.  The contest is open to high school students in Colorado and requires a completed entry form.  Deadline for the contest is May 31, 2012.   Prizes in the contest are $500, $300, and $100, provided by the Public Lands Foundation. More information at this link.

Oregon: Home! Sweet Homestead!

National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon,  is celebrating "Home! Sweet Homestead"--The 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act, from June 7 from September 3, 2012. Discover the rich homesteading history of the West, and explore the many ways that we create and protect the places that we call home. The Homestead Act gave U.S. citizens the opportunity to lay claim to 160 acres of land, and provided the infrastructure for people to establish agricultural communities throughout the American West, offering new freedoms for those willing to work hard. Note: A special traveling exhibit from the Homestead National Monument in Nebraska will also be on display from June 17th - July 7th

Wyoming: Frontier Days Feature GLO

Taking a stroll down Wild Horse Gulch at Cheyenne Frontier Days is like taking a step back in time to the days of the old west. Buildings reinvented to look like old-fashioned shops stand side by side. At the end of the row, a white building displaying a large sign spelling out, “Land Office,” attracts tourists from around the world desiring a small taste of how the west was won. Each day of the ten-day celebration, BLM members put outfitted in western vests and prairie skirts to talk to tourists about recreational activities on public lands, wild horses, energy development, or simply to welcome them to Wyoming. This year will be a special commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the GLO. Cheyenne, Wyoming, July 20-29.  To read a story on the 2008 GLO exhibit, select this link.