Bolesta, former WWII Wave, Tulelake Homesteader
years ago, March 13, 1947 - War Veterans Win Tulelake
veterans of the last war, some still wearing a jacket, shirt or
a pair of trousers issued to them while in the service, stepped
to the platform in the Bureau of Reclamation hall this morning,
laid a finger on a big map and as winners in the big Tulelake
homestead drawing, became land owners."
Eighty-five veterans of the last war,
some still wearing a jacket, shirt or a pair of trousers
issued to them while in the service, stepped to the platform
in the Bureau of Reclamation hall this morning, laid a
finger on a big map and as winners in the big Tulelake
homestead drawing, became land owners.
All 86 of the winners were present in
the jam-packed room but one, Leland L. Cheyne, who waived
his right to a homestead in order that he might be eligible
in the next government land lottery. He was No. 85.
As the men—and the one woman, Eleanor
J. Bolesta—stepped from the crowd and selected their future
home, there was applause and in some cases groans and
rippling murmurs. To a layman, who looking only on the map
and was unaware of the possibilities that lay in each
individual unit, it was slightly confusing. Did the crowd
response mean the winner had “picked a dud” or had he chose
a mighty fine piece of land that at least 25 other veterans
had their hearts set on.
Probably the greatest applause was
accorded to Mrs. Bolesta, an ex-Wave, who was No. 51 on the
list. She did not get the piece she would have selected
first, but she got her sixth choice which is in the same
“We’re happy,” she said. Her young
husband, a marine who saw service in Bougainville and Guam,
was at her side. He used a cane for a leg wound received on
First up was Robert L. Smith,
34-year-old U.S. Army Air Corps mechanic who comes from
Banks, Oregon. He has spent most of his life on a farm.
The No. 1 homesteader, who saw service
in the India-Burma China Defense and Central Burma campaigns
isn’t the only bachelor homesteader and has been besieged by
letters from the Lonely Hearts Club and a couple of other
Herald and News, March 13, 1947
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