Thanksgiving Spokesmodel Podcast

November 27, 2014


In honor of Thanksgiving, let’s revisit last year’s Thanksgiving Spokesmodel podcast.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

Thanksgiving Cards Food historian extraordinaire and Thanksgiving Spokesmodel Kathleen Wall of Plimoth Plantation joined us to talk about Thanksgiving.  First, a warning we had a small technical issue at the beginning so for first five minutes I thought we might have to cancel, but she does call in.  We start out with her story about Barbara Walker, author of the Little House Cookbook, visiting Plimoth Plantation. Then we turn to Thanksgiving history and historic foodways. About 30 minutes in we talk about the Three Kernels of Corn followed up by the popcorn at Thanksgiving mention from Farmer Boy. That’s followed up by how Thanksgiving became so important in Plymouth and what you can do if you spend Thanksgiving there today.

Listen at this link:

Little House Cookbook by Barbara Walker (be sure to read Barbara Walker biography that links from there)

See part of Barbara Walker’s keynote speech…

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Vinton and the Mary Ingalls Society

November 23, 2014


UPDATE 2014: This was posted fairly recent. I think the big changes are that they did hold their first pageant in August 2014 and the exterior construction work is now finished.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

New Roof Construction

New Roof Construction

This fall I was very pleased to have Robert Spangler come on the podcast to talk about the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa and the newly formed Mary Ingalls Society and their decision to start a pageant. Today I visited the school and I’m pleased to report the roof replacement is well underway. If you are planning on visiting before July be aware that for liabilities sake you need to enter the school through one of the long plywood tunnels that lead to the rear doors in the two stairway towers.

Episode 44 – Mary Ingalls and the Iowa School for the Blind
Originally Aired September 21, 2013
Join host Sarah S. Uthoff as she talks to Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School alumnus and historian Robert Spangler.  The ISBSSS is the second oldest school in the state of Iowa and…

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Get Out and Walk Reminder

November 21, 2014

I’ve done a piece on this before, but as winter is moving in, my thoughts turn to summer Laura Ingalls Wilder trips and this particular piece of advice is worth revisiting.

Park Your Car, Get Out and Walk

Park Your Car, Get Out and Walk

Do Your Research

Lots of people making a Laura trip — what we tend to call a trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s homesite towns — for the first time might not know what to expect, especially those who haven’t researched much about the towns and museums ahead of time. But the more you put into prepping a trip and asking questions ahead of time, the more you get out of it. Although many tourists expect it, most homesite towns don’t tell you everything you can see and do in a one-stop-shopping format; all of them have extra little jewels if you’re willing to dig.

Research can also help stave off near disaster. Like the time my mom planned a trip to Mansfield for me and just assumed they’d be open on Sunday (they weren’t then, they are now), an 8 hour car ride later we learned differently. Planning can also be important as well. Most homesite towns are near anything else and not looking at a map can make deciding to wait until the next town to fill up on gas, get something to eat, or use the restroom can end up not being a great idea. But I can honestly say, no matter what happens, I always enjoy a Laura trip no matter what happens, including the time I fell down and bled all over two Laura t-shirts before I got it to stop (in case anyone is still wondering from this summer, the blood did come out of the second one).

Do You Stay Trapped In Your Car On A Laura Trip?

No matter which Laura town you visit, the best piece of advice I can give you is this: Park your car, get out, and walk. Laura didn’t experience these towns zooming by looking through her car window, and to get the best experience, neither should you.

Walking is a more practical way to get a feel for any town. It really helps you get a feel for the town as Laura knew it, when you look with your two feet on the ground carrying you from place to place. You get a much better feel for distance and the relationship between different places around town to each other. How far was it from one place to another? Riding in a car normally suppresses our understanding of these differences. We often hear from people who for one reason or another end up walking the road by my house “but it seemed so short a distance in my car.”

It can give you a feel for how the modern town interacts and what it’s like to live there if you walk. And instead of just playing tourist try to find some errand to do in town. Pay your subscription to the paper, stop at the grocery store to pick up something you’ve run out of or forgotten at home, buy what you need for a picnic, empty out the flotsam and jetsam that end up in your car on any trip to your local recycling center, anything like that can give you a feeling of being part of the town, if just for a little while.

Walking De Smet

For a specific example, take a look at De Smet, South Dakota. I’ve walked all over De Smet. They even boast an official walking tour now. Walking there is very doable and I even met a family once who had taken an airport shuttle to town (from the “big city”) and were walking literally everywhere for the week all over De Smet. I gave them a ride back to the hotel after the pageant in the dark, but they’d walked from that home base as far as the Ingalls Homestead, the De Smet cemetery where the Ingalls graves (all but Laura’s) are, and the site of Rose’s birthplace north of town.

This lesson of walking was borne into me again on a trip to De Smet, South Dakota, where I had my favorite Laura experience of all time. It was during a Laura conference. After the conference broke up for the day, my mother and I headed out to the Ingalls Homestead, the land southeast of town that the Ingalls family homesteaded in the 1880s. I was wearing a long dress and walked up the road from the schoolhouse back to the front gate. The sun beat down, the wind tossed the prairie grasses, kids were singing, insects were buzzing, little clouds of dust swirled up with each step and my skirts swirled around my ankles. This was the very road that Laura and her whole family must have walked a thousand times. I felt like Laura could be coming over the hill at any minute. It was really a magical experience.

Walking Malone

When I took a bus trip to Malone, the bus to take us from our lodging in the center of town out to the Wilder Homestead wasn’t leaving until 9 am. Well, I wasn’t about to waste daylight for a couple hours in Malone. So my partner in crime, Mary Kopsieker, and I started walking. Starting at the Super 8, where we were staying, we walked as far the Congregational Church locating related sights around town. By the time we returned to the bus and we drove back by, people were amazed at how many places I could point out around town.

Walking Pepin

Pepin is another town that provides a great example of getting a feel for it by walking. I go to Pepin for Laura Ingalls Wilder Days which happens every September — it’s a great time, especially for kids; check it out if you’re ever in Wisconsin in the fall. If possible be sure to check out the Pepin Public Library (which has a lovely little Laura display left over from when the museum was built).  I tend to park my car either by the Pepin Motel if I’m staying there, which is right next to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park where the events are held. Then I leave it there until I head over to the Wayside (the replica cabin site at Laura’s birthplace, seven miles outside of town). In the right part of town — along the marina and uphill from there — you’ll see all kinds of unique shops that exemplify Pepin’s diverse, artistic population. I always make it a point to walk from the park to the Pepin Museum every trip and sometimes I go as far as the marina or even the Pickle Factory Restaurant by the lake.

Someday, just as Pa did, I’m going to walk all the way from the Wayside to Pepin. As soon as I can talk somebody into doing it with me. :) But that might be too much on what feels like the longest 7 miles on earth. Susan Sprague recently suggested that I start out by walking as far as the Barry School site at Barry Corner and back. I think this is a great idea and as long as it isn’t pouring rain next September I’m going to give it a try.

Get Out And Walk

Walking gives you a real feel for the town and makes you feel a part of it instead of just a tourist. It also is good for you, after all those hours driving from anywhere to a Laura homesite, you need the stretch and the exercise. You don’t have to walk that far, but I encourage everyone wherever you go on your next Laura trip: Get out and walk!

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Gene Stratton-Porter Video Part 8

November 18, 2014
150th Event

150th Gene Stratton-Porter Event

Back in January I had posted about a series of videos that the Stratton Foundation was going to be posting (1 a month) about Gene Stratton-Porter and her homesites in Indiana. At that time I explained more in depth about who Gene Stratton-Porter was, but I haven’t done a good job following up with posts about the following videos. Today I’m going to share August’s posted video.   If you followed me on Facebook last year you know the Anniversary Dinner in Gene Stratton-Porter’s honor in August was one of the things I’d really hoped to get to last summer and I didn’t, but this happily was filmed there. This is the best piece yet showing what happened there.

Video 8 is called “August 2014: A Flashback to the 150th Birthday Celebration GS-P Gala.” It was published on YouTube on August 24, 2014.

They say about it: “This episode goes back one year to the screening of “Laddie” at the 150th Birthday Celebration Gene Stratton-Porter Gala in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Historic Embassy Theatre. Doug Stratton, Jonah Crismore, and Eric Grayson share their thoughts on Gene and her film, Laddie.”

They also talk about preservation measures they’ve taken to preserve the film, some of the rights problems that have caused on-going issues with their re-release and things that have and haven’t been preserved.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Christmas Carol Reader’s Theater

November 16, 2014


UPDATE 2014: Even though it’s been a couple of years, I really don’t have a lot to add to this post. I did do some editing that I think helps clarity. The link to the video still works. I still love A Christmas Carol and I still recommend listening to his version as you busily get ready for Christmas.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library presents a Reader’s Theater production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. They leave in the narrator, which is important, because Dickens is serving as narrator himself in the manuscript and he always gives himself all the best lines when he does. The books where he has a character serve as narrator pale in comparison. If you’ve never seen or read a version of A Christmas Carol with the narrator, you haven’t really experienced it yet. This very abridged version takes just over 1 hour 10 minutes to watch or listen to, but hits most of the key points. It was produced December 3, 2011.

I also recommend The Muppet Christmas Carol which first inspired me to realize that I didn’t really know the story and MUST read the original, despite having seen dozens of other movies and special episodes of TV shows depict it.

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Iowa Government and One-Room Schools

November 13, 2014
Cover of Iowa and the Nation

Cover of Iowa and the Nation

At What Cheer Flea Market, I found a very interesting book. It’s a text book about Iowa government and has quite a bit on one-room schools. The author is George Chandler then the Superintendent of city schools in Osage, Iowa.  Below are some selections from this 1898 book (which is in the Public Domain).

The selections below (which I’ve marked with the page they came from) explain how the governance of one-room schools in Iowa operated. Your state probably had a similar set of guidelines. How similar depended on your state and their attitude towards education. Within the text below in several places I’ve added an Editor’s Note in square brackets [Ed. Note: xxx] to help clarify some point or to offer commentary or ask a question. All such notes are my own and not found in the original text.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Chandler, George. Iowa and the Nation. Chicago: Flanagan, 1898.

From Chapter 2 “The Township – Continued”

Page 12

School Township – The school township is a division for school purposes, and its boundaries must always

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be the same as those of some civil township. The public schools are free to all residents of the state between the ages of 5 and 21 years. Each school township is a school district, and the business connected with the management of its schools is done by a board of directors.

Sub-districts - Each school township is separated into as many sub-districts as may be necessary, and a member of the board of directors, called a sub-director, is chosen from each sub-district by its qualified voters. The sub-directors of a township are chosen on the first Monday in March of each year for a term of one year, and all the sub-directors of the township constitute the board of directors.

Township Meeting - On the second Monday in March, the qualified voters of the school township meet to transact business of a general nature connected with the management of the schools in the township. If it is necessary to build a new school-house in the township, the money must be raised by a tax voted at this meeting. If any school property is to be disposed of, the sale must be ordered at this meeting. [Ed. note: this doesn’t give an indication of what happens if an emergency arises if, for instance, a school burns down midyear and must be replaced.]

Board of Directors – On the third Monday in March, the sub-directors meet and organize as a board of directors by choosing one of their number president. They then proceed to the transaction of such business as may come before them. They allow all just claims against the district [Ed. note: meaning debts or bills], hire teachers, estimate the amount of money to be raised for the support of schools and provide for building and repairing of schoolhouses. They make such regulations for the good of the schools of the district as authorized by law.

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Officers of the School Board - The president presides at all meetings of the board and of the school township, signs all orders for the payment of money from the district treasury, and all contracts made by the board. At the regular meeting of the board held on the third Monday in September of each year, a secretary and a treasurer are chosen for one year. The duties of these officers are such as their titles indicate.

Independent Districts – Cities, incorporated towns, and villages having not less than 100 inhabitants may be organized as independent school districts In districts composed of cities of the first class and cities under special charter, the boards of directors consist of 7 members, and in all other city and town districts, of 5 members, 1/3 of the number as nearly as possible, being chosen every year. In all city and town districts, a treasurer is chosen annually by the qualified electors, at the time of the election of directors. The secretary is chosen by the board of directors at the September meeting, and he cannot be a member or employee of the board. In such districts, the directors are chosen on the second Monday and their term begins on the third Monday in March.

Rural Districts – By the provisions of a former law rural independent districts were formed in district townships, each district having a board of 3 directors, one being chosen on the second Monday in March for a term of 3 years. [Ed. note: This would remain the law all through the age of one-room schools and one-room school district decisions, including tax, curriculum, etc. were decided by these very local, three person boards. My great-grandfather served on his local one. It was nearly 50 years after this book that the so far unstoppable serge of school consolidation began by requiring all schools to be part of a K-12 district. One-room school districts were forced to become part of an independent school district with a high school, mostly in some nearby town. This took decisions (and money) out of immediately local hands. While it didn’t necessarily mean one-room schools had to close (a handful of public one-room schools in Iowa are open yet), when these larger school districts were given the choice to continue to use the money to keep one-room schools open or to take the money and spend it on something they wanted, guess which option won and schools were closed.]

Active Amish School

Active Amish School

School funds - The money for the support of schools

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is kept in 3 separate funds in each district. These are known as:

  • the teachers’ fund (which is used for the payment of teachers)
  • the schoolhouse fund (used in building and repairing schoolhouses and purchasing school grounds);
  • and the contingent fund (which is used in the purchase of supplies and the payment of incidental expenses of the school).

Nearly all of the money needed for the support of any school is raised by a tax levied on the taxable property of the district in which the school is located.  [Ed. note: I replaced pairs of commas with parenthesis and bullets in the second sentence because it was visually confusing. I hope this is easier to read. ]

Teachers’ Fund – The teachers’ fund is derived from the semi-annual apportionment which includes the interest on the permanent school fund of the state, fines and forfeitures of various kinds, and a country school tax of not less than 1 mill, nor more the 3 mills [Ed. Note: A mill is  1/1000th of a dollar and is often used as a rate of taxes on accessed value of taxable property], on a dollar which is levied by the board of supervisors on the taxable property of the county. The money paid by nonresident pupils as tuition for the privilege of attending school in which they do not reside also forms a part of this fund. In addition to these sums, the directors of each district on the third Monday in March, or between that time and the third Monday in May of each year, vote to raise a tax for teachers’ fund upon the property of their district, not to exceed 15 dollars for each person of school age, except as provided for in the next paragraph.

Contingent Fund - The contingent fund is raised by taxation on the property of each school district, and is estimated by the board of directors at the time of estimating the teachers’ fund. The amount raised for contingent expenses cannot exceed 5 dollars per pupil, except in thinly settle districts where that amount and 15 dollars per pupil for teachers’ fund is not sufficient to maintain the

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schools for six months of 20 days each as required by law. Seventy-five dollars contingent fund and 270 dollars teachers’ fund, including the semi-annual apportionment, may be raised for the support of each school in the state every year.

Schoolhouse Fund – The Schoolhouse fund is derived from the tax upon the property of any district in which a school house is to be built or repaired. This tax is voted by the electors of the sub-district or school township, and property of the entire township. At the sub-district meeting held on the first Monday in March, the electors may vote to raise a certain sum of money for the erection of a schoolhouse. If the electors at the school township meeting, the following Monday, refuse to grant any or all of this amount, the tax is levied on the property of the sub-district, not to exceed 15 mills on a dollar of valuation. As a rule, the tax for schoolhouse purposed is levied upon the property of the whole district and expended in the different sub-districts as occasion may require.

Veterans Day 2014

November 11, 2014

Silent Movie of World War I

As part of my on-going posts about the World War I centennial, I want to focus this year’s Veteran’s Day post on World War I. This video gives you an idea about what it was like to be on the front during World War I.

Beginnings of Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day. Although today the holiday is known as Veterans Day. and honors American veterans of World War I. It was known as Armistice Day and commemorates the end of World War I ended (also known as when the armistice starts) at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. It is customary to have a minute of silence at 11 am today in honor of all our veterans. Please do so today.  I’m proud to say my father served. Memorial Day is supposed to honor soldiers who fell during battle, surviving veterans are honored today.

Christmas 2001

Christmas 2001

Red Poppies

Red Poppies are the symbol of fallen heroes of World War I. It was said that the red flowers reflected the blood of the fallen. It especially became the symbol after the poem “In Flanders Fields” came out by  Canadian soldier Lieutenant-Colonel John Alexander McCrae and who fell in the trenches soon after. A framed copy hung on my great-grandparents’s dining room wall. (Avoid poems called Response to Flanders Fields which inspired some of the worst amateur poetry ever.)

Flanders Fields Poppies

The history of veterans organizations selling poppies

This year a special tribute of red poppies has been planned in the United Kingdom.

White Table

For those of you who have children or work with children, considering starting a new tradition and reading the picture book, America’s White Table by  Margot Theis Raven and Mike Benny. This is an empty table to remind us of those who sacrificed in service. Read the details about it here:

Beef Up Our Troops

Think if there is anything you can do to help those in the service and those who served and came home. One of my favorite ways to thank our troops is the charity, Beef Up Our Troops. It originally started as an Iowa Cattleman’s Association program, but proved prohibitively expensive long term. A couple picked up the practice and figured out a way to make it cost effective. Read more here:

Veterans Day FAQ

Fly your flag on Veterans Day. You’re supposed to fly your flag at half-staff until noon and then at the top the rest of the day (if your flagpole allows you the option).

Find your FAQs

What you can do:

  • Fly your flag
  • Wear a flag or patriotic pin
  • Buy and wear a poppy
  • Donate to a veterans charity
  • Give a minute of silence at 11 am your time or if you miss it during a later time zone’s time

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Book: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

November 9, 2014


Another one of our updated blog posts. I really enjoyed “A Walk in the Woods” It’s a great book and I highly recommend it.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

I like travel writing in general, but my favorite is a certain kind of book. A book where usually the author travels around and makes comments about whatever they run into, sometimes with a companion. Usually there is some overarching theme that ties it together, like just having broken up with your wife or looking for traces of the Civil War. Included are interesting historical asides about whatever they come across. Think a short Moby Dick without the symbolism. My favorites are Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon and Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck. A Walk in the Woods is just this kind of book.

I hadn’t run into this particular author before, but if this book is any indication I’ll be sure to look for more titles as soon as the pile of books by my bed starts to shrink. ;-) Another reason I like him is…

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Iowa Newspaper Preservation 2014

November 7, 2014

I have previously posted several reports on the sad state of the local newspaper preservation service in Iowa. Funding to this important program has been slashed and basically all progress has stopped on this process which is designed to insure Iowa’s history (personal, community, and state) aren’t lost forever. Today I’m sharing with permission a post from State Historical Society of Iowa’s Preservation Program that gives a current report on the situation. I made a few minor edits, mostly to correct formatting errors that arose from copying and a few other format changes. – SSU

Iowa Newspaper Preservation 2014

Lithograph Machine

Lithograph Machine

Over the years I have worked with many of you on preserving your community’s weekly newspaper through Iowa’s (SHSI) Newspaper Preservation Co-op Project and HRDP grants. I’ve enjoyed our conversations and partnerships in working to save Iowa’s fragile treasurers. To bring you up-to-date on the current status in the Preservation Unit, I would like to share the following information:

1) The Society is continuing to collect newspapers on a weekly basis.

2) In 2009 we lost our funding for preservation microfilming; however, two hundred and seventy-two weekly newspapers continue to be sent to us each week with the expectation the SHSI’s will preserve them through filming. We are now faced with a backlog of 1200 newspaper bundles stored on shelves and pallets throughout the Historical Building waiting to be microfilmed.

3) We severed our filming and storage contract with Heritage Microfilm a number of years ago because their business model began operating out of Mexico [Ed. note – and generally started to behave unprofessionally]. We immediately brought Advantage Information Management in Cedar Rapids under contract to handle all duplication, scanning and preservation microfilming needs of the Society.

Looking to Local Organizations

For now our only hope for newspaper preservation beyond talking with legislators, is to turn to local communities-the genealogical societies, foundations, libraries…for help. Since we have a signed contract in place with Advantage, any newspaper titles filmed through the SHSI are filmed under the state contract. Your cost of $200 per bundle covers the creation of:

  1. Two master films
  2. 1 service copy back to SHSI
  3. 1 service copy back to the organization paying the costs

If you choose digital images instead of film for your copy, the cost is adjusted upward from the film cost. This “next step” of digitization can easily be accomplished once papers have been microfilmed because the digital files will be created from the microfilm duplicating master.

What the Iowa State Historical Society Can Do Right Now

The State Historical Society of Iowa’s responsibility covers:

  1. Assuring the bundle is as complete as possible
  2. Issues are arranged chronologically
  3. Transport of bundles to Advantage
  4. Long-term storage and maintenance of the master films which are managed by SHSI and Advantage

Moving Forward

Some of you may remember the letter, reading very much like one, I sent three years ago. Sadly, times haven’t changed. But many of you have stepped up and helped your community out. Thank you so much for the financial support in saving your treasures. Please feel free to contact me with any questions and concerns. The State Historical Society of Iowa has the largest collection of your historic newspapers preserved on film. We will always see our mission to collect, preserve and make accessible Iowa’s historic resources.

Delpha Musgrave
Local Gov’t Records & Newspaper Preservation
Iowa Newspaper Digital Project
Co-Coordinator State Historical Library & Archives delpha. musgrave @ iowa. gov (spaces added to confuse bots)

Laura Ingalls Wilder 2014 Season Ends

November 5, 2014
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Site De Smet

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Site De Smet

This is post has a little different title, but it’s the October 2014 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events posts. It’s going to cover a little bit more than usual so it has a different name.

October usually is about the end of the main Laura Ingalls Wilder season for the year. If you plan a Laura trip during or after October, make sure you call ahead. They may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see. On the plus side you get autumn foliage and then snow photos. I called around to find out when the Laura museums were officially closing for the year. Find contact information for the homesites/museums here:

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

There are a few events going on, including Christmas shows, I’m listing the entire season’s worth below so you can make plans if one is in your regional area:

Fort Wayne, Indiana (they are incredibly vague on their website about where the production will actually be held since they describe themselves as a traveling repertory company, but the performance dates and the office contact information is listed below) – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks, Nov. 7-9, 14-16, 2014
Basic Information (dates, ticket prices, etc.):
Information about and photo of cast:
3901 South Wayne Ave, Fort Wayne, IN 46807, (260) 745-4364

Sarah Uthoff dressed as 1930s Laura Ingalls Wilder by Bonnet Tree

Sarah as 1930s Laura at Hoover’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Tree Disply

Ashland, Kentucky - Paramount Arts Center -A Little House Christmas, Dec. 4, 2014 (Note: One night only)
Basic Information:
Paramount Arts Center, 1300 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101, 606.324.0007

Eau Claire, Wisconsin – ECCT – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Dec. 6-7, 2014
Basic Information:
Audition Information:
ECCT, 1814 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire, WI, 54701,, 715-839-8877

Traverse City, Michigan – Old Town Playhouse – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas, Dec. 8-9, 2014
Basic Information:
Old Town Playhouse, 148 E. Eighth Street, P.O. Box 262, Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Knoxville, Tennessee (also very vague about where production will actually be held, I’m assuming on campus) – In co-production with The WordPlayers, Pellissippi State’s Theatre program – A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas – Dec. 12-13, 2014
Basic Information:
Pellissippi State, Community College, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, P.O. Box 22990, Knoxville, TN 37933-0990, 865.694.6400

Laura Ingalls Wilder 2014 Season Ends

Pepin, WI – After October 15, 2014 closed daily, but re-open Oct 15th – Oct 19th and Oct 24th – 26th. Closing for the season Oct. 26th. They should re-open for the town of Pepin celebration on the Saturday only, Hometown Holidays, December 6, 2014 – December 7, 2013 (all-day).

Independence, KS – Closed October 31, 2014, They will also be closed Tues., October 14th, Thurs., October 16th, and Sun., October 19th due to scheduling conflicts. Normal fall hours are Tues.-Sat. 10 am – 5 pm, Sun. 1 pm – 5 pm and closed Mon. – Watch for their event schedule for next year to be published on their website in early 2015. They aren’t doing Christmas shopping this year, but again this year they are doing a special fundraiser with premiums from their gift shop. They are looking to raise $3500.00 to cover unmet expenses and have projects thought up that could certainly use more.

Walnut Grove, MN - Museum grounds closed for the season November 1, 2014, but their Gift Shop/Visitor Center will remain open during November and December from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Saturday. After Christmas it will be open Monday –  Friday, same hours, until April 2015.

Burr Oak, IA – Closed October 19, 2014. Beginning in September they have reduced hours. In October they are open Thurs.-Sat. 10 am-4p m and Sunday noon-4 pm.

De Smet, SD -
Memorial Society – open all year with slightly reduced hours during winter, Mon.- Fri. 9 am – 4pm. They will close December 22-January 1 for Christmas and New Years.

Ingalls Homestead – Open depending on the weather through October and then closed October 31, 2014, Office remains open for making reservations, etc. Call and leave a message if they don’t pick up. Scheduled activities only take place through September 30th. People are welcome to walk around even after they are closed for the year. Look for maps in plastic holders beside visitor center/gift shop doors.

Mansfield, MO - Season ends November 15, 203. Winter hours are November 16 – December 15 by appointment only (call ahead). They are having a one day Christmas event December 6, 2014 (Date likely, but still tentative).

Malone, NY – Closed Sept. 30, 2014, Can arrange tours by appointment if volunteers available . Minimum admission is $25 for three or less. Four or more admitted at regular price. Arrange by e-mailing Re-opens for Christmas With Almanzo event (1 Day) December 6th, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. For this event admissions free. Come and enjoy readings from Farmer Boy Christmas chapter in the parlor of the house at 11:30 and 1:00. (Adults must accompany and remain with child.) Enjoy cookies, mulled cider, Christmas carols, and children’s activities. Come visit our gift store for last minute shopping with complimentary gift wrapping for purchased items. “Happy Christmas!”

Spring Valley, MN – Only open on weekends for the rest of the month of October. Closed October 31, 2014. They reopen for Christmas teas. Teas will be Dec. 6-7 with sittings at 12:30 pm each day. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. Reservations required for the teas. The cost for the tea is $10. They will also be having house tours that same week-end from 1pm-4pm each day.  The cost for the tours is $7 and includes three area homes. For more info call 507-346-7659.

Keystone, SD – Closed September 15, 2014.

Vinton, IA - Pat Barr passed along this information: “Our hours are the same year round – 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. – Monday through Friday.  All but the museum is available.  The roof is  now done and work can be started/finished on the inside of the building – I believe that all the ceiling tiles have been replaced – but, there still needs to be painting, floor coverings, and possibly dry wall.  Once third floor has been completed, the Society will start working on the museum.  There is still plenty to see without the museum.  For large groups, members of the Society can display historical artifacts in the auditorium.  The makeshift tunnels, the fence, etc. are down.  People can now come in the front door of Old  Main once again.  A group larger than five should contact me – all others are welcome to drop in.  My phone number is:  319-472-5221, Extension 1110.  My e-mail is:

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.


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