The Homestead National Monument of America Quarter represented the first release of the year and the twenty-sixth release overall for the America the Beautiful Quarters Program. The coins were officially released for circulation on February 9, 2015.
The reverse design for the coin contains items representing the three fundamentals of survival common to all homesteaders. Food is represented by two ears of corn; water is represented by a water pump; and shelter is represented by a log cabin. The reverse is completed with the inscriptions “Homestead”, “Nebraska”, “2015”, and “E Pluribus Unum”. The original design candidate also contained thirty stars surrounding these elements to represent the number of states that participated in the Homestead Act. However, these stars were removed in the final version of the design.
The obverse of the quarter features a portrait of George Washington restored from John Flanagan’s original design for the 1932 Washington Quarter. The inscriptions read “United States of America”, “Liberty”, “In God We Trust”, and “Quarter Dollar”.
On February 24, 2015, the United States Mint began sales of bags and rolls containing circulating quality Homestead Quarters from the Philadelphia, Denver, and San Francisco Mint facilities. The circulating quality coins struck in San Francisco were only available through these products.
Additional numismatic products featuring the Homestead Quarter included a three coin set, the annual proof and mint sets, and the five ounce silver bullion and numismatic coins.
About Homestead National Monument of America
Have you ever wondered what motivated the early American citizens to leave the heavily populated east coast of the country and venture in to the wild unknown of central and western America? One of the most significant events in the westward expansion was the Homestead Act of 1862. This Act was decreed by the federal government as a way to encourage people to settle down on the wild prairies and mountain areas of the central and western country side of the country by offering them free land if they would just come and live on it.
The passing of the Homestead Act was monumental, people with no money but strong willpower now had the same chance as wealthy people to have their own tract of land, and all they had to do was survive on it. This of course, proved easier said than done in some instances, and the stories of many of the first pioneers, including the famous Laura Ingalls Wilder, are threaded with heartache and loss.
The Homestead National Monument of America was established in March of 1936 as a way to recognize the huge impact that the Homestead Act had on the shape and size of this country. Visitors are welcomed to visit the Homestead National Monument for free in celebration of the act that allowed almost ten percent of the entire mass of the United States to be settled by brave pioneers.