“Here Are 160 Acres to Improve and Homestead…”
The United States in 1900 needed to expand and open new settlements for it’s growing population. It was truly time to go west. The concept was to dam and redirect river water to areas that could grow food and start towns. The harnessed water would also create much needed power. The southwest would become the new population frontier and resulting economic bonanza. Opening the southwest also opened opportunities for European emigrants to start new lives. Reclamation had global implications.
Here, in the Upper Klamath Basin there was water, a key element for settlement. In fact, there was an excess of water that had to be drained.
And so it was that Tule Lake and Lower Klamath Lakes became fertile farm land controlled
by diversions. Czech settlers migrated to farm. Lucky World War I and II veterans,
lottery winners, were invited to homestead. The Klamath Reclamation Project was successful.
Engineers were able to move, or remove, water, where and when needed. Upper Klamath Basin could support a larger human population. Settlement of the west had begun.
Living a rural life in simple but challenging times.
Klamath Reclamation Project World War II Homesteader daughter Mary Palmer talks about her days growing up in Tulelake, California. Life today is much the same.
©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.