Deschutes Public Library News
Fort Rock Homesteaders Visit
Posted By: Liz Goodrich
Date Posted: 4/8/2003
Kent and Lois Gill portray Fort Rock Homesteaders on Wednesday, April 23rd at 4:30 pm at the Deschutes Historical Center at 129 NW Idaho Ave in Bend.
The Gills, who both serve as volunteers at the High Desert Museum, will present a living history program on the second homestead era from 1908-1925 in the Fort Rock-Christmas Lake Valley area. In period costumes, the Gills will portray two homesteaders who encounter each other in 1925 and discuss the hardships and the joys of the homesteading experience.
“We’re both history buffs,” states Kent Gill, regarding the couple’s interest in Fort Rock homesteaders. “We were doing an outreach program for the High Desert Museum about homesteaders and decided we wanted to know more.” For the Gills, knowing more meant doing hands on research at the Fort Rock Museum, reading old newspapers and gathering first hand accounts from books.
Fort Rock homesteaders came from all over the country to settle and make homes for themselves. “The homesteaders didn’t know what they were getting into,” said Gill. “They were expecting a great agricultural area. What they found was quite different. Just getting water was a nightmare.”
This program is part of the History of The Month lecture series, sponsored by the Library and the Historical Society. The joint effort is designed to keep the unique history of Deschutes County alive and available for county residents to explore. Local experts present the lectures, highlighting different aspects of local history. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 617-7072.