Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Long Vistas is a charming odyssey which begins with Katherine Harris's own experience of western women's history and moves on to a well-written. thorough exposition regarding women homesteaders in Colorado. Harris starts with background material on the homesteading endeavor, including a discussion of railroads and water problems. About one-third of the way in she turns to women, presenting statistical charts of women's marital status, fertility, and "proving-up" rates.

This segment provides an excellent social history of women homesteaders, explaining what they brought, how much they spent, what kinds of houses they built, and what disasters they confronted. Harris has done meticulous research in women's source materials and uses it effectively to flesh out the female homesteading story.