Thursday, May 27, 2010


Duane Ose, of Ose Mountain, AK, is the last federal homesteader in all of the United States.  He lived in a 9' x 11' dugout from 1985 to 1991 on a 5 acre lot within the 30,000 acre Lake Minchumina Land Settlement Area.  In '91, his wife Rena (newlyweds at the time) moved in and continued living in the dugout for another 9 years while building their 3 story log home.

Duane Ose

Duane and Rena live off of disability insurance and social security, which is more than enough since they don't have a mortgage or pay taxes and monthly bills.

Greenhouse and vegetable garden

Watch a video about Duane, Rena, and Ose Mountain on KSTP TV channel 5 news.

Duane hauling logs (Note the .45 on his hip)

Duane traps 'em and Rena dresses 'em

Duane and Rena's view of Denali

Read more stories about homesteading, trapping, building and living off the land in Duane's blog.


  1. not sure if i posted it in the right spot last time.
    Sure was a pleasure to meet you on your trip to Fairbanks. I was proud to have given you a ride.
    Best of luck with you.


  2. You might want to check your claim of being the last federal homesteader. The federal government disagrees with you.

  3. In June 2001, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service worked together and recognized Deardorff as the nation's final homesteader.Though he had claimed his land in 1974 and fulfilled all requirements of the Homestead Act in 1979, he did not actually receive his patent until May 1988. Duane had made his way to the land in 1985 and claimed it to start the process of homesteading the land and was successfully filed in 1986. Duane Ose Staked his claim after Mr.Deardorff and built his home but Deardorff's paperwork was finished after Ose's paperwork. So you decide who the last one is. Paperwork or actually claiming and building?