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Homestead in Sunlight Basin

A Little History Is Sill Standing
by Dan Hartman

Sept. 22, 2012

In 1915, when Hebrew Ward arrived in Sunlight Basin, he must have thought ďwhat a beautiful place to live!Ē The only problem, you canít survive on the scenery alone. After building a strong cabin of logs covered with sod., he and his wife settled in with other homesteaders to start a new life. They brought in cattle and chickens, planted crops and gardens. Times were extremely hard. Most, including The Wards, were always close to starving.
Things must have gotten better by the 40ís because the cabin was added on to. It even held the areas post office for a time.
When Larry Luckinbillsí dad bought the land and buildings in 1952, Hebrew was gone, but his wife still lived in the cabin. During the sale, Larry who was seven, folks would leave him with Mrs. Ward when they went to town. Larry admitted to me he wasnít sure if he was more scared of the old house or the old woman!
Larrys dad paid Mrs. Ward well for her homestead (about $13.000). At the time other homesteads were being sold for around $1500.
Years passed. In The 70ís Larry bought out his parents. The cabin was never lived in after Mrs. Ward left in 1952. Old Magazines and household furnishings lay where they were abandoned sixty years ago.
For more than twenty years Iíve driven passed the old homestead wandering about itís back story. I even noticed when part of the roof caved in last year. It was a lucky break the day I ran into Larry and his wife as they emerged from their drive way. He readily gave me permission to examine the old buildings as well as grant me an interview about the places history. Thanks to them for saving this piece of the past.
If there are any modern day homesteaders out there, Larry informed me he has inexpensive land for sale. Itís a beautiful location!
If interested call : 1-307-899-3176 or email:

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View slide show


Sod Roof

Living Room?

Have A Seat



Windows For Light

Kelly Standing Beside The Cabin Door