Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One's Own
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Customer Reviews

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I just finished this book, and really loved it. The book devotes a chapter to each of a dozen or so women who filed claims on free land in Montana in the late 1800s to the 19-teens. They were required to live on the land and improve it (with crops, fencing and a house) for five years before getting the title to it. They were also required to be single, divorced, abandoned or otherwise heads of their households, as married women didn't qualify for land.

The book contains quite a few pictures of these tough women and their homesteads, and diary entries and letters from several of them. I am amazed that anybody could "prove up" a claim in that terribly dry, isolated place. The hunger, heat, cold, wind, sand, lack of water, crop failure, loss of livestock, lack of feminine companionship, and lack of medical care caused so many homesteaders to give up, and yet these women stayed and flourished.

If you enjoy books about the settling of the American West and the pioneer spirit, you will love this book!
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on November 17, 2012
The book: "Montana Women Homesteaders; A Field of One's Own" is a subject that needed to be explored. These women were resourceful, adventurous and brave. Especially eastern Montana has to be seen and experienced to begin to understand what these women faced. One of them, Catherine Calk McCarty, was well known to us. It was her sharing her stories (being caught in a blizzard and having to give the horses their 'head' that got them safe to shelter. Or, being followed to her homestead by a lone rider who stayed in her corral for most of the night.) that led to our encouragement for her to write her story.
I recommend this book to those who wish to learn about the settling of the west and the courage required to be one of the settlers, especially the women who came.
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on November 12, 2009
Montana Women Homesteaders: A Field of One's Own is an anthology of testimonies and vintage black-and-white photographs following single women who filed on 160 or 320-acre homestead plots in Montana. Some were single; others were widowed, divorced, or deserted; some had children; and they varied in age, educational level, and ethnic background. Some were ultimately more (or less) successful than others, particularly as the Great Depression closed in. Yet all of them tested themselves on the land and contributed to Montana's rich history. An absorbing, often deeply personal account in the words of women determined to make it on their own, highly recommended.
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on January 29, 2012
This book is filled with letters and stories of women who were homesteaders in MT in the late 1800's-early 1900's. You will find yourself enthralled by the stories of living in shacks no bigger than 8x10 feet, waiting for the water delivery man to come before you die of thirst. The hardships of living on the plains of MT with 50 below zero winds whipping around uninsulated cabins, and the horrible loneliness, is told with interest and a deep love of MT!
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on November 23, 2010
This book was exactly what I was looking for . . . stories of ordinary women overcoming amazing obstacles! The first hand accounts make this book . . . to hear it right from the women themselves is what this book is all about. I highly recommend Montana Women Homesteaders!
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on November 15, 2012
A story of less than 20 of the female pioneer homesteaders in Montana. All but one of the homesteads were east of the Continential Divide and north of the Yellowstone River. This part of Montana is truly the "big sky" country, with continual winds of 10 to 40 mph, summer temperatures above 100 and winter temperatures at 40 or 50 below. Life was difficult in a one-room "prove-up" shack, with only coal for heat, water which had to be "hauled" or hand pumped from a well and an "outdoor privie" odorous in summer and skin-peeling cold in the winter. One of the women homesteaders lived Turner, the town where I spend the first year of my life.
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on October 1, 2014
This book has some fascinating accounts of the hardships endured by early 20th century single women homesteaders. Some of the writing is rather dry; others are very well written. Overall an interesting topic which I knew nothing about.
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on June 5, 2016
I wasn't quite as happy with this as I have been with other accounts of Homesteaders. It wasn't enough... the stories were interesting but I never once got the feeling that I was seeing the real overall picture--just scratching the surface. The pictures were fantastic though...
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on July 17, 2015
If you're interested in the history of women who made America great, this is an importaint book to invest in. It really shows the strength and determination of the women who had a strong influence in making America a great country. Most history books and stories focus on the male role, but this book explains how the women homesteaders of the west really turned the desolate plains into prosperous farm land, and if men wanted a part of it, they had to join the women homesteaders! Of course, it's another story of Europeans coveting Indian land, but it's a story seldom told that women changed the destiny of the plains by planting and homesteading. Also interesting to read about how those old cabins were built and the struggles to survive in such a desolate and dry landscape.
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on August 15, 2015
Very interesting and fascinating to read the struggles and hardships, with little joy, right from these women's own letters and diaries. Although the book offers little in excitement, it offers the strength of our pioneer women.
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