VIDEOL Homestead Act 1862-- ( 16 mins )
This video is about Homestead Act 1862
Homestead Heritage Center and Education Center
The Homestead Heritage Center, dedicated in 2007, contains exhibits that treat the effect of the Homestead Act on immigration, agriculture, native tribes, the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, and federal land policy. The roof line of the center resembles a “single bottom plow moving through the sod,” and the parking lot measures exactly 1-acre (4,000 m2). A separate Education Center features science and social science presentations that can be shared with classrooms anywhere in the United States through distance-learning.
The park includes 100 acres (0.40 km2) of tallgrass prairie restored to approximate the ecosystem that once covered the central plains of the United States—and that was nearly plowed into extinction by the homesteaders. This restoration, which necessitates regular mowing, haying, and prescribed burns, has been managed by the National Park Service for more than 60 years and is the oldest in the National Park System. The park maintains about 2.7 miles (4.3 km) of hiking trails through the prairie and woodland surrounding Cub Creek, accessible via all-terrain wheelchair.
The restored Palmer-Epard Cabin was built in 1867 about fourteen miles northeast of the Monument. Over more than sixty years, Palmers and Epards lived in the 14 X 16 foot structure before it was converted to grain storage. The cabin, built of squared logs of mixed hardwoods, consists of a single, earth-floored room downstairs and a small attic. It was donated to the park in 1950 and has been moved and restored several times through the intervening years.
The Freeman School, built of foot-thick red brick with carved limestone lintels, was the longest continuously used one-room school in Nebraska history (1872–1967). The school also served as a Lutheran church, a polling place for Blakely Township, and a community center for debates, clubs, and box socials. The National Park Service has restored the school to look as it did during the 1870s.
The Freeman School was the focus of an early, influential judicial decision regarding separation of church and state. In 1899, Daniel Freeman sued the school board after a teacher, Edith Beecher, refused to stop praying, reading the Bible, and singing gospel songs in her classroom. In Freeman v. Scheve, et al. (1902), the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that Beecher’s activities violated provisions of the Nebraska constitution.
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