The Homestead Act, enacted during the time of the Civil War, allowed for any U.S. citizen, or would-be citizen, to claim 160 acres of government land, provided they worked to improve the land through cultivation and other means, among other caveats.
In the early 1890s, Charles Ludwig Veit, a german immigrant, claimed his 160 acres as he settled into the mountains outside Flagstaff, Arizona. He built a cabin—the remains of which can still be seen today (the Forest Service is partly responsible for its destruction)—and a number of springhouses to contain the natural spring water from the nearby hill and the forest floor.
There are four known springs found in close proximity to his former home. Veit was known to haul water to early Flagstaff settlers. This parcel of land would remain in Veit’s family for over two decades, until when, In 1928, the land came into possession of the Jenks Family. Then, in 1948, Arizona Game and Fish purchased the land for $1. Today, it provides local wildlife with water and habitat.