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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Free Land!

Here's this interesting story about a free land give-away in Anderson, Alaska, part of the state's frozen interior:

City phones were ringing nonstop all weekend and were still going strong Monday. Thousands of people called from all 50 states and other places, including Canada, Taiwan, India and South America, according to locals including Anderson high-school teacher Daryl Frisbie, whose social studies class developed the homesteading idea to boost the town's dwindling population.

Frisbie said his own residential phone has been ringing round the clock. Interest was high despite the brutal winters of the interior, where temperatures can plunge to 60 below. Never mind that there's no grocery store or gas station in Anderson, 75 miles from the regional hub of Fairbanks.

Callers from around the world were all focused on two words: free land.

According to the story there were 26 lots being given away, and those who showed up in person, waited in line, paid a $500 fee (toward their taxes?), and agreed to build a house on the land received preference.  I just wonder how much this land was actually worth?  Was this really such a jackpot or more like a gimmick (hey, free land!) even though it was probably not worth all that much, given the remote, rural, cold nature of the area?

[Miriam Cherry]' 

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