Telling the story of 200 years  of White Mountain History

                                   Remick Museum
                             Art of   Homesteading

The current exhibit at Tamworth's Remick Museum is "The Art of Homesteading".  The exhibit focuses on the time period of the Homestead Act of 1862 and it demonstrates the variety of tools and skills that were necessary in that time period to create a home and farm.

Visitors will learn about surveying and measuring land, tools and techniques of post-and-beam construction of buildings, tools used in finishing a home, tools and implements used in raising and caring for livestock, methods of decorating the home interior, and will gain an understanding of the home life of ordinary, mid-to late 19th century, rural Americans.

We're showing only a portion of the exhibit.  There's much more to see.

The Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm has much to educate and entertain visitors of all ages.

                      Photography by Forrest Seavey
                                        Click for an enlarged view of this panel 

The Art of Homesteading

 This exhibit explores the variety of arts, skills, and
  tools needed for homesteading. Traditional skills
  live on in modern artists and craftspeople across  
        the country. Many of these are being practiced today
 in Tamworth, New Hampshire.


To begin with, we must look at the different definitions of the term “homesteading.” Historically, it meant the act of claiming public land for farming, inhabiting and improving it, then gaining outright possession of the land after a certain period of time. Before the town of Tamworth was chartered in 1766 this method of acquiring land was used. Early records show that squatters had already staked their claims.

The Homestead Act of 1862 encouraged the migration of people westward throughout the United States and popularized the practice of homesteading in America.

Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, including freed slaves, could file an application and evidence of improvements to a federal land office. The original Homestead Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862.  

This act gave each applicant freehold title to as much as 160 acres of undeveloped federal land, outside the original 13 colonies. The Homestead Act required three steps: file an application, improve the land, and file for deed of title.

In order to build a home, provide for themselves or their families, and make a living, a “homesteader” had a great deal of work to do. They had to possess many tools and skills to accomplish the numerous tasks required of them. In this exhibit we will examine what it meant to be a homesteader and what was necessary to survive and prosper under these harsh conditions. The notion of going into the wilderness with “only an axe and a gun” to claim a homestead is a misconception.

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