Thanks for the suggestions. Of all the rifles mentioned, the Henry looks the most interesting to me. I have enough 22LR ammo to use during our next trip to the land. It's rare to find an activity that my sons are interested in, that their father and both grandfathers can participate in. I normally would be in no hurry to pick up another caliber rifle, but you never now how long grandparents will be around, and it would be well worth it to me to shell out a little extra cash for a .17 hmr to maximize the amount of time that my boys have to learn a valuable skill from several generations of men in their family.
As for the home defense angle, none of the rifles would be intended for that purpose. I'm inclined to leave the rifles in the gun safe on the land, and rely on the handguns I already own for any defensive needs. May start hunting for a Henry next week.