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The Veteran Homesteaders and Settlers in the Klamath Basin
A History of the Tulelake Homesteaders

  WWII veteran homesteader Bill Macy, 1947
     In the early 1920's until 1949, the Federal Government invited war veterans to apply to win homesteads with "water appurtenant to that land" to feed a hungry world. This 'Greatest Generation' was honored for defending FREEDOM in America and on foreign soil.
     Veterans came in groups to Tulelake in the Klamath Project; they were young people in their early 20's. They had no roads, no electricity, no water. They built a community.
See Homesteaders with Photos and Story ( Thanks:  Web Team)  Read
their stories .... their real stories ..... take the time.. read their stories .
Written in 2001
Gerald Johnson
Manuel Silva 
John Masterson 
Carl Voorhees 
John Terry  
Paul Christy 
Fred Robison

Paul Rogers 
Francis Webb

Marion Palmer
Jack Newkirk
Woody Chambers

Jess Prosser
Clyde Todd
 Go HERE for audio    
     The documentary  Homesteading in a Promised Land  is a 100-year story as told by family settlers of the Tulelake Basin.  24 settlers tell the story, and more than 80 people participated in creating this film.   
When Tule Lake was drained and diverted into canals, lakes and storage reservoirs,  near the turn of the century, people came to settle the land.  Many of the following audio clips, original versions of their personal feelings, were  taken of the settlers while making this  video. 
                                    Go HERE for audio page.

< A Merry Christmas card, December 25, 1944, to a soldier's parents in California. Jacl Newkirk was 18, WWII, in Paris, later to win a Tulelake, Klamath Project, homestead with water rights forever, for his service in the war. He was lonesome and homesick, trying to be optimistic and give his family hope, but not knowing if he'd survive to return home. Veterans, we appreciate your service!

Tulelake Monument Honors Homesteaders, H&N 9/11/15.

See an Original Deed, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt,  shows water rights

Letter from President Harry Truman to Paul Rogers after his service in WWII.

IN MEMORY of Herbert Schwarz 'a man, an era, a government, are mourned' December 2003.

Interview by Nick Schultz, Delphina and Paul Macy

Interview by Nick Schultz, Paul Christy

Five Short Homesteader Stories, Osborne, Hall, Schey, Bolesta, Buckingham 

Interview by Nick Schultz, George and Theresa Smith

Story by Helen Newkirk Shuss, Jack Newkirk Family, with photo,  Homesteaded 1949, Panhandle

< Eleanor Bolesta, former WWII Wave, Tulelake Homesteader

75 years ago, March 13, 1947 - War Veterans Win Tulelake Homesteads 
"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."  H&N 3/13/22


Story by Marvin & Kay Cantrell, with photos

Calamity in Klamath, The American Enterprise, October-November 2002 issue. "Paul Christy flew fighter planes in World War II, enlisting within hours of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He earned a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and is extremely proud to have served his country. But today, when he talks about how he and his neighbors have been treated, tears come to his eyes. "Sixty years ago, I was behind Rommel's lines in North Africa. Today, I'm still fighting, although this time, it's against my own government." (KBC Note: Christy has since died, however he shared his story in the documentary 'Homesteading in a Promised Land')

David Carman, Tulelake Homesteader and WWII veteran, tells about his July 4th memories, 7/3/05

KIXE  PREMIERES HISTORY OF TULELAKE SETTLERS. On July 4, 2005 KIXE-TV, Channel 9 will premiere a locally produced history of the Tulelake settlers at 8 PM.  It is also scheduled for 10 AM on July 4.  HOMESTEADING IN A PROMISED LAND tells the 100 year old story of white settlers in the Tulelake Basin. 

Horseradish Association manager (Wendell Schey) retires -- Another of Americaís "greatest generation" is honored, Klamath Courier posted to KBC 4/21/05

AgLifeNW Magazine November 2004 issue, story by Jacqui Krizo and Mary Palmer, Tulelake homesteaders' daughters, 'Homesteading in a Promised Land' as told by family settlers of the Tulelake Basin

AgLifeNW Magazine, August issue, David Carman testifies on behalf of Klamath Basin Veteran Homesteaders for Field Hearing July 17, 2004

Herald and News October 20, 2004 Scrapbook

Crowd rebounds for Czech festival Dancing, sausages and Bohemian beer celebrate immigrants who settled in the Klamath Basin, H&N 2/26/06

Winnie Heiney; Celebrating the Basinís pioneers, by Lee Juillerat, H&N 9/7/08

Homesteading in the (Tulelake) Basin, H&N 9/15/08. "Philip Krizo returned from war to farm 39 years in the Tule Lake Basin."  

1932 WWI Tule Lake Homesteads, H&N, posted to KBC 1/26/12


Homesteader Lottery 1946

A Recent Gathering

Old Photo Series
Life Magazine Cover Story, January 20, 1947   Page 2,   Page 3,   Page 4 
The old residence of C. Hill

Aerial Photos showing towns and cropland of Tulelake, Merrill and Malin ( large photos )

Tulelake Homesteaders - from Our Greatest Generation, have passed. Fred fought in WWII defending his country; they farmed the rest of their lives to feed a hungry nation.
Fred Allen Robison "After only 19 days of separation, Fred Allen Robison rejoined his sweetheart of 64 years. He died in his home"
Herald&News 1/9/09
Velma Robison died last week. She and her husband Fred homesteaded in Tulelake in 1946. Velma was part of the documentary Homesteading in a Promised Land, a 100-year story told by Tulelake settlers. In the film, Velma Robison < (audio) tells how they felt the day their irrigation water was shut off in 2001: Velma was the heart and soul of our community; we will miss them both.

Velma: "The day of April 6, 2001, was as infamous to the people in the valley of Tulelake as Dec. 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) was to the citizens of the United States."


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