Homestead Act

The Homestead Act was passed by President Lincoln in 1862 and is one of the most impactful laws in American history. It allowed the federal government to sell land to individuals, assisting farmers in acquiring good land at low prices. Before the arrival of the railroad to the Pikes Peak Region in 1871, settling and farming out West was challenging because supplies, equipment, and crops were difficult and expensive to transport. Walter Galloway, an immigrated U.S. citizen, originally from Scotland, arrived in Colorado Springs in 1867 at the age of 37. He built the original homestead cabin but could not file for his 160-acre homestead until the land was surveyed–in 1871. He was a day laborer in Colorado City and lived on the property for the next three years. In November 1874, he travelled to the Pueblo County Land Office and purchased the 160 acres outright for $200 ($1.25/acre). Right away, he sold the land to Robert Chambers for $1,400.

At the Galloway Homestead, we interpret for visitors what the daily routine would have been like for those pre-railroad settlers. Food was cooked over an open fire because stoves were too heavy to transport in a wagon, laundry was washed by hand with homemade soap, and gardening was accomplished without the assistance of large farm equipment. Every member of the family was responsible for completing essential work around the homestead. Children would have spent their little free time learning school lessons and playing with simple handmade toys

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