TwHP Lessons

Adeline Hornbek and the Homestead
Act: A Colorado Success Story

[Cover photo] Hornbek Homestead (Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument)

[Cover photo] Adeline Hornbek
(Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument)

Colorado's Florissant Valley lies 35 miles west of Colorado Springs on the flanks of Pikes Peak. To the north and east, the Rocky Mountains dominate the skyline. To the west lies high meadow land with large expanses of undulating native grasses so beautiful that early fur trappers to the area referred to it as a park. In the summer the grassy meadows are filled with the colored mists of thousands of wild flowers.

In the center of this lush valley stands the Hornbek homestead complex, the home of a strong, determined woman who came to the area with her four children in the 1870s. Claiming land under the Homestead Act, Adeline Hornbek defied traditional gender roles to become the owner of a prosperous ranch.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Florissant, Colorado and surrounding
 region, 1891

 2. Hornbek Homestead
 3. Homestead plots in the Florissant Region

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. The Story of Adeline Hornbek
 2. The Proper Victorian Lady
 3. Homestead Proof: Testimony of Claimant

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Hornbek Homestead
 2. A representative barn

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Homesteading
 2. Homesteading in the Local Region
 3. Researching Important Women

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Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

This lesson is based on the Hornbek Homestead, which is within the boundaries of Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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