Homes on the Range is a set of recollections, stories, and photographs from ranching families who homesteaded New Mexico's last frontier - the barren deserts and rugged mountains of the Tularosa Basin and the Jornada del Muerto - during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. White Sands Missile Range is engaged in the recording of the rural homesteads, isolated windmills, Angora goat sheds, and other physical remains of the homesteading era that dot their landscape. Recording the architecture and archaeology helped preserve history but did little to illuminate it. To meet the need for additional information, the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program provided funding for an oral-history project in which members of the families who homesteaded land that now lies on White Sands Missile Range were interviewed about their ranching experiences.
In Homes on the Range, the oral-history interview responses are presented in a continuing narrative format. The reader may learn about where these families came from and how they ended up in the Tularosa Basin and the Jornada del Muerto; how the ranchers faced blizzards, drought, floods, and other natural forces; what the cattle, goats, and sheep survived on in good years and bad; how to care for calves, lambs, and goat kids and what roundup and branding time was like; how to doctor people and animals with home remedies and what nature provides; what it was like to build a house and raise a family so far from civilization; what it was like to be a child on a ranch; and what these folks did for rest and relaxation. A companion volume, School Days, focuses on how the families secured an education for their children.
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