Desert Lands Act


The "Desert Lands Act of March 3, 1877 " ch. 102, 19 Stat. 315 permitted homesteaders to enter 640 acres of desert land for reclamation of desert lands. The applicant paid twenty five cent (.25) per acre when filing his claim and the balance one dollar ($1.) per acre any time within three years. This act was amended to 320 acres by the Act of August 30, 1890.

The intent of the Desert Lands Act was reclamation of desert lands and the settler was given 3 years to conduct water to the land. Desert land was described as: "All lands, exclusive of timber and mineral lands, which will not, and without irrigation, produce some agricultural crop, are deemed and held to be desert land."

This was not an attractive piece of legislation for valley pioneers as only two settlers; Rafael Carrillo and Loreto

Carrillo filed for Desert Land Entry illustrated by Abstracts of Final Desert Land Entries (Boxes 274 to 275).

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