Friday, April 29, 2016

Homestead



Today's picture shows a ranch homestead in 1900. It looks like on this particular day they were more about harvesting deer than anything else. I believe I see 5 deer in the picture ready for butchering. Five deer and no refrigerator, I hope they have a lot of salt and nitrates.

4 comments:

  1. I'm not sure (poor photo), but it looks like 4 antelope and one deer. I hunted antelope and you only get about 40 to 50 lbs. of meat off of the bigger one and the 3 on the ground look small to me, 20 to 30 lbs. of meat.
    And they may have a smoke house.
    Just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, a couple of those are antelope.

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  2. My grandparents homesteaded in SD in 1907-1910. Contrary to what most people think, it was possible to purchase homestead land, which is what my family did. People typically think you had to stay five years. Since most people who homesteaded were doing it to get land to live on more or less permanently, and started out poor, most homesteaders did stay at least five years. There's no way to tell from this house which type of homesteaders this family was. I'm guessing this was not their first dwelling on their land, because it's a good sized house. Legally, you had to have one door and one window, and this has a lot more than that. The house is also made of lumber that looks like it came from a lumber mill--it's definitely not a log cabin. My family lived on the prairies, so they lived in a tiny sod hut. Another interesting thing about this house is that there are what appear to be deer antlers at the peak of the roof. So the hunters in the family had gotten at least one deer before. While it looks like a forested hill in the background, antelope are, I think, solely prairie animals, so they must have access to both kinds of habitat. I wonder if they had a "root cellar" for crops, which would keep some meat for a while. I think in those days people were used to eating "gamy" meat. One reason for lots of pepper and chili powder! Then you would have to have lots of salt to keep the rest through the winter. Or the ability to smoke it.

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