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.
FREE HOMES FOR ALL
Government Lands in the Canadian
HOW TO OBTAIN THEM
HOMESTEADS PRE-EMPTIONS AND WOOD
HOMESTEADS PRE-EMPTIONS AND WOOD LOTS
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.)
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
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.
LIBERALITY OF CANADIAN LAND REGULATIONS
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