The Gambles had been fortunate enough to come at just the right time. There was a lot of opportunity for anyone that wanted to put in the hard work to make it happen. Let's read about their experiences some more in this letter written in the fall of 1880...
St. Vincent*The Homestead Act of 1862 let an adult man claim 160 acres of land. The homesteader had to live on the farm for five years. Some also took tree claims. On a tree claim, the owner had to plant ten acres of trees and keep them alive for eight years.
October the 17 1880
Dear father & Mother I now take up my pen to write a few lines to you hoping this will find yous All Well as this leaves us All well at present We have been very busy with the potatoes we have a fine crop of them this day week there was a awful storm of thunder and lightning the lightning struck the aald Station beside us and burned it to the ground it has been very cold ever since we bought another cow we paid thirty dollers for her we have four now I bought a new sewing machine at thirty five dollers the children all goes to School every day we are puting up a new stable twenty by sixteen we bought another farm since I wrote last about one mile from our own one hundred and sixty ackers it is a tree claim* we bought a man out we paid him for his right we can only hold a homestead and tree claim land is getting scarse here now and deare to there is going A nice Church and School house up heare the church is about finished we hauled all the lumber for them we have a man hired to drive the teem and he makes good Wages for himself and oxen there is the greatest emegration this summer that has been yet from all parts I have about one hundred pound of butter to sell I was offered thirty cents a pound for it cash but I want thirty five cents for it there has been a lot of rain here this summer all the harvest was wet I think I have told you all this time so I must conclude with our kind love to you all
Mary Ann Gamble
So good by for the present