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The above poster was used by the Canadian Government to entice potential settlers from Britain. While this particular notice is from the early 1880's, it appears to have the same kinds of terms and conditions that applied at the time the Melbourne family took its homestead. The text of the page is given below.


Government Lands in the Canadian Northwest





A "homestead" not exceeding one-quarter section, or 160 acres, is a free grant from the Government. Any person, male or female, who is the sole head of a family, or any male who has attained the age of eighteen years, is entitled to a homestead. The condition under which the grant is made is that the homesteader shall reside on and cultivate the land for three years. The person receiving a homestead entry is entitled at the same time -- but not at a later date -- to a pre-emption entry for an adjoining unoccupied 160 acre tract. The settler will not be called upon to pay for the pre-emption until the expiration of the three years that entitles him to receive a deed from the Government for his homestead. The price charged for the pre-emption within the Railway belt is $2.50 (10s.) per acre.

A settler is allowed a period of six moths after date of entry for entering upon and taking possession of the land, but he must not be absent from his homestead for more than six months at any one time without special leave from the Minister of the Interior. Only the even numbered sections of a township are open for homestead and pre-emption entries.

Should the settler find that he cannot comply with the conditions of the three years' residence he is allowed to purchase his homestead by paying $2.50 per acre therefor, provided that he has resided on the land for twelve months from the date of entry, and has brought under cultivation at least thirty acres thereof.

Any person who has obtained a deed for his homestead after three years' residence may obtain another homestead and pre-emption entry.

Settlers that have not sufficient wood growing on their homesteads can purchase from the Government wood lots not exceeding twenty acres in size at $3.00 per acre. In addition to this, settlers are allowed, free of charge, a permit to cut timber on vacant government lands -- a sufficient quantity of wood, house logs and fence timber to meet all their requirements during the first year of homesteading. They are forbidden to dispose of wood from their homesteads, pre-emptions, wood lots, or what they may obtain under free permit, to saw-mill operators, or to any person other than an actual settler, for his own use. A breach of this condition, or non-fulfilment of homestead conditions, renders the entries of homestead, pre-emption or wood lot subject to cancellation. Should such cancellation be made, all improvements become forfeited to the Government, and the settler is not allowed to make a second homestead entry.

The fees charged are as follows: Homestead, $10; pre-emption, $10; permit fee, 50 cents.



Compared with those of the United States

The fee for taking up a homestead or pre-emption entry is only $10, whereas it is $26, and in some cases $34, in the States.

The privilege of receiving a pre-emption entry at the same time as that for homestead is granted is denied in the United States

The settler must reside five years on his homestead in the United States, as against three years under the liberal regulations of Canada.

The taking of a homestead in Canada does not prevent a settler from purchasing other Government lands.

The following liberal allowance of timber is given to the settler on prairie lands free of charge: 1,800 feet of house timber, 400 roof rails, 30 cords of wood, and 2,000 fence rails -- equal in value to about $60. No such grant can be obtained under the land regulations of the United States.



credits: this photograph was taken in the summer of 1997 in the exhibits center at Fort Normandeau, located on the banks of the Red Deer river in Red Deer, Alberta
© Kenneth Scott and others
This  page was last updated on 15 September 2016