Arctic Homestead

The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds

Norma Cobb and Charles W. Sasser

St. Martin's Griffin

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In 1973, Norma Cobb, her husband Lester, and the their five children, the oldest of whom was nine-years-old and the youngest, twins, barely one, pulled up stakes in the Lower Forty-eight and headed north to Alaska to follow a pioneer dream of claiming land under the Homestead Act. The only land available lay north of Fairbanks near the Arctic Circle where grizzlies outnumbered humans twenty to one. In addition to fierce winters and predatory animals, the Alaskan frontier drew the more unsavory elements of society’s fringes. From the beginning, the Cobbs found themselves pitted in a life or death feud with unscrupulous neighbors who would rob from new settlers, attempt to burn them out, shoot them, and jump their claim.
 
The Cobbs were chechakos, tenderfeet, in a lost land that consumed even toughened settlers. Everything, including their "civilized" past, conspired to defeat them. They constructed a cabin and the first snow collapsed the roof. They built too close to the creek and spring breakup threatened to flood them out. Bears prowled the nearby woods, stalking the children, and Lester Cobb would leave for months at a time in search of work.
 
But through it all, they survived on the strength of Norma Cobb---a woman whose love for her family knew no bounds and whose courage in the face of mortal danger is an inspiration to us all. This is her story.

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Reviews

Praise for Arctic Homestead

“Turn off the TV, throw a log on the fire, unpack your dreams. This is the real thing: a farewell account of our greatest myth about ourselves, the frontier myth. Norma Cobb writes with a skinning knife and gun stock, with bear grease and shards of river ice---a memoir as wild, engaging, stubborn, and authentic as that distant valley where her family staked out the last plot in America.” --John Balzar, author of Yukon Alone

“Cobb’s voice combines the ruggedness of the frontier with the tenderness of a caring mother, resulting in an appealing, and enjoyably quick read.” --Publishers Weekly

“Her story exhibits her strength and sheer willpower to make it work.” --Oregonian

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About the Author

Norma Cobb and Charles W. Sasser

Norma Cobb is the last woman pioneer to sign up under the U.S. Homestead Act and become a homesteader. She and her family still live in the valley they settled. This is Norma Cobb’s first book.

Charles Sasser has been a full-time freelance writer/journalist since 1979. He has published over twenty-five hundred articles and short stories and has over thirty published books to his name. He lives in Oklahoma.

Norma Cobb
Charles W. Sasser

Norma Cobb

U.S. Army
Charles W. Sasser

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Available Formats and Book Details

Arctic Homestead
The True Story of One Family's Survival and Courage in the Alaskan Wilds
Norma Cobb and Charles W. Sasser

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
St. Martin's Press
St. Martin's Griffin
February 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312283797
ISBN10: 0312283792
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages, Plus one 8-page b&w photo insert
$16.99

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
February 2003
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429972208
ISBN10: 1429972203
320 pages
$9.99
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