>homesteads and beaverslides

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This is the house that my great-grandfather built.
This is the house where my grandfather lived.
This is the house where his nephew still lives.
This is a fairly current photo.
The Homestead Act of the early 1900s increased the 160 acre parcels to 320 acres. The prove up period of time was reduced from five years to three years and further allowed a five month absence from the claim each year. Farming in Eastern-Montana back in the day was difficult, but . . .
on the other side of the state, cattle ranching on the Grant-Kuhrs Ranch was thriving:
Learning to farm and ranch in Montana, with its annual precipitation of 10 inches, our farmers and ranchers developed new methods to hold onto the land and their crops. One of the most colorful adapations (still used in parts of the state to this day) is the beaverslide hay stacker. Due to the arid climate, hay did not need to be stored in barns to prevent mold. Hay could be cut and stacked and stored in the fields.
This weekend my daughter and I are headed into beaverslide country. I had hopes to take photos but the weather forecast calls for ponding water on the lowland roads and a need for snowshoes in higher elevations. Likely I’ll not be setting out across the fields to take photos. Here’s one from the National Park Service website.
Click here to enjoy more photos. If you go to the multimedia section of the website you can watch a video of the beaverslide in action. Oh yeah boy! Did you catch the poetry in all this talk? prove up period….ponding water… lowland roads…
I wonder if I had a prove up period in my life, what would it be or did I miss it already?
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About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit and YB Poetry Journal. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

5 responses to “>homesteads and beaverslides

  1. >Yeah, I didn't miss the great poetry words. Is 'prove up' like being all stove up?You really have quite the rural life. That photo of family home is cool. Did you alter it in photoshop?

  2. >So interesting. This week has been a history lesson in farming for me. A friend at work just finished a report on her great grandfather and great uncle who practiced strip farming in Alberta and the also were part of the invention of the Noble blade cultivator. What rough livin in these parts. Lovely photo of the homestead.

  3. >Are those Belgians? I love draft horses. "nums"

  4. >Love the character of that house too. "stesher"

  5. >hi kass, maybe it's all about "making a go". my mom was raised on a farm in eastern montana. she's a hard worker but said that life was too hard for her. my father grew up in western montana in more of a mining atmosphere. i was trying to think of how to share what is not rural here (as we do have a few cities here), but pretty much one click past anything and you are into rural life here. montana is the 4th largest state, but has less than 1 million people in it.the photo was one that was emailed to me, so i am not sure how much photoshopping went on. it's something, huh?hi kerry, well once again we seem to be tuned to the same things near the same time. alberta shares quite a few traits with montana. in the hills behind where i grew up, the farmers were strip farming as well. i'll have to google that device you mentioned (unless…are you doing a post on it?!)hi mike, i think they are belgians and yeah! i love draft horses too. i always wanted my own clydesdale when i was a kid. some dreams never happen, though. i wish i could see the house more up close. it looks as though everything has an exact purpose and i am sure i'd not understand half of each purpose. can make you appreciate having stores a few blocks away, reliable electricity and such. but on the otherhand, this house stands for the non-throw-away world and i love that. *gonalato*

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