View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Thu May 22nd, 2014 01:22 am
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Root Beer Lover

Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 981

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But did they specify a size for the dwelling? That's what got me in the link TD posted was that the article specified dimensions but not if those dimensions were in inches or feet. It's pretty obvious the article means a dwelling you or I could live in, which would obviously be the same for our ancestors. But if the actual US Homestead Act of 1862 was written the same way as the article, then folks applying for it could have interpreted it as I discussed above. Of course Mr. Freeman built his house in terms of feet, a 14 by 20 foot, one story dwelling with a shingle roof, board floor, and two doors (think that's supposed to be two windows after the doors but I can't be certain I'm reading it as two just like the doors).

I know I'm being an ********** about the whole dimension thing, and that the government even then would have argued that it should be obvious what was meant if there's nothing in the actual write up of the act that says the dimensions have to be in feet or inches, but I think it's something you'd have to have been as it's an open to interpretation type of thing. Technically you don't need 12' x 14' minimum for a dwelling for folks to live in. In the spring of '87 my family spent about three months living in a popup camper trailer about 78" x 177" in dimension (6.5' x 14.75' or about 1.98m. x 4.5m.) because the woman we had been renting our house from decided to kick us out early. She'd been using the house as her "Let's try an get me pregnant in the country" love nest and we were supposed to move out in May or June rather than March or April and didn't yet have a place to move into so we had to live in our camper for a few months. And the worst part was she put the place up for sale about a month after we moved out and didn't want anyone from around here to be able to buy it (she lived in NYC and only used it a few months out of the year). Would have loved to have spent more time in that place, an old pre-Civil War two story farmhouse complete with carriage barn and a few acres of land. But for a few months we survived in the camper and I know there are folks who live year round in something that size.

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