The trailhead for the trail leading to the Freeman Homestead is located on the road leading to the Javelina Picnic Area. All that remains of the old homestead is the adobe ruins.
The Homestead Act was signed by President Lincoln on 20 March 1862. It provided that any person, the head of a family or 21 years of age, whether a citizen or intended citizen, could take a quarter section of the public domain. If he lived upon and improved it for a period of 5 years, he could take title upon the payment of a small fee. In 1916, the Act was modified to increase the allotment to 640 acres in those areas where the land was only suitable for grazing.
Homesteading played a major role in shaping the area around the
When the Freeman family moved in, there were no roads into the area. The Freemans and men from two other homesteads in the area built a road that is now a large part of the Spanish Trail. The first thing the Freemans did to improve the land was to dig and dynamite a well. They made their own adobes to build their house which was 20’ by 24’ with a concrete floor. The dining room and kitchen were separate from the house and there was a covered ramada between the two buildings.
Summarized March 2003 by T. N. Johnson from information provided by the National Park Service.
Additional Material: GVHC Library File 54