Adeline Hornbek, a single mother of four children, defied nineteenth century traditions to become the owner of a prosperous ranch in the Florissant Valley. In the spring of 1878, Adeline Hornbek filed a claim under The Homestead Act of 1862 to 160 acres of land about two miles south of Florissant. Her homestead house is not the typical one-room cabin that we envision when thinking of frontier life. Instead, it is a one and one half-story, four bedroom log house with nearly a dozen glass-paned windows. It was the first two story house in the valley. Ornate Victorian-style furnishings graced the interior. Several outbuildings including a milk house, chicken house and stables completed the homestead. (Note the outbuildings on the site were relocated from other homesteads in the area to represent the original outbuildings on the Hornbek Homestead. But yes the house is the original).
Mrs. Hornbek supported her family by raising and selling horses and working in town at the Florissant Mercantile (the general store). She became a prominent member of the growing community of Florissant, serving on the school board and hosting social gatherings in her home. By the time she filed the final papers on her homestead in 1885, the value of her property had increased nearly five times.
Listen to a narrative about Hornbek Homestead:
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