What Were Some of the Problems Faced by the Homesteaders?

Some of the problems faced by the homesteaders were difficulties in cultivating land filled with immense trees and mountains, inadequate roads, flooding, poor soil drainage and the lack of a marketplace to sell the crops grown on the land. The homesteaders of the second half of the 19th century were drawn to the lands of the United States Pacific Northwest by advertised claims of opportunities and resources, but instead found those lands to be inhospitable and overwhelmingly rugged.

The provisions of the 1862 Homestead Act enabled a qualified U.S. citizen to apply for a claim to 160 acres of federal land. Only a small fee was required, but the applicant was obligated to reside on the land and improve it over a 5-year span to qualify for a deed of title.