George W. Palmer built this log cabin in 1867 in Logan Township, Nebraska, some 14 miles from Beatrice. He used oak, ash, and other hardwoods cut from the banks of Bear Creek for his cabin walls. He made the brick in the gable ends by hand.
Palmer proved up on his homestead claim in 1875. Along with his wife and five children, he had built a home, planted crops, and lived on the land for five years as required by the Homestead Act.
In 1880 Palmer added a lean-to kitchen. The family had grown by five more children. Imagine a family of twelve living in a space the size of today's average family room. How would you make it through a long rainy day?
The Palmers lived in this cabin another 15 years. Prior to 1900 Lawrence and Ida Epard acquired the farm and lived there for 40 years.
How might close living affect a homesteader's struggle for success?
Homesteading families spent most of their time outdoors working. The cabin was only used as a place to eat, sleep, and get out of bad weather.
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Palmer's original cabin was 14 feet wide by 16 feet long. This cabin was moved to Homestead National Monument of America in 1950.