A special quilt is being created that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act.
The design features things like a sod house, a plow, cottonwood trees, rivers, prairie grass, corn and a star.
The quilt will go on display at the Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice next month along with the actual document from 1862.
Ranger Susan Cook says quilts served multiple purposes in that era.
“During that time period, women didn’t have the right to vote when this law was first passed but they used quilts as a way of using their voice,” Cook says. “It was also a way of getting together. Quilts were an integral part of people’s lives.”
Members of the Homestead Quilt Club are putting together the colorful quilt.
Several events are coming up as part of the anniversary of the Homestead Act.
Ranger Merrith Baughman says one highlight is a visit by the Homestead Act document at the monument.
“April 25th through May 28th we’ll have the actual document,” Baughman says. The document is housed at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and officials say this will be the first time all four pages of the document have been on display, anywhere.
She calls it a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to see the important act.
The Homestead Act granted most Americans the ability to claim — for free — 160-acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River.
Claimants had to be at least 21 years old, live on the land for five years and show evidence of making improvements.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice