Danbury CT Update

September 9, 2014
Rose's House in Danbury from Road

Rose’s House in Danbury from Road

As many of you know Laura’s daughter Rose Wilder Lane lived for a good chunk of years on what was originally a small farm outside Danbury, Connecticut. The neighborhood grew up around her, complete with a church that would later host one of her memorial services. Today it’s in a nice neighborhood full of older large homes and inconvenient driveways. While the location of the home has long been known, and photos of it graced articles Rose wrote about remodeling your home, its current owner has not been consistently open to Wilder visitors, peppering a few offered tours with often refusing to respond even to tell you, you weren’t welcome. That may change. The home is now being offered for sale. There is sometimes talk of turning it into a museum, but I don’t think there would be a long term local interest and the furnishings that would have made that easy to do have been scattered amongst the existing museums. My long cherished hope would be that it would be purchased by someone looking to do a bed and breakfast. Not only would it be in a great location for that, I’m sure many Wilder fans would be chomping to spend the night. I hope someone like that buys it.

The Cottonwood Tree blog dug up the realtor offering the home for sale and go permission to post photos on her blog of the house. It’s remarkable how much it still looks like Rose’s house, down to the brick floor she insisted on in the kitchen. I’d love to know if they still have the hang from the wall toilet and if they ever fixed the door into one room off the staircase that had a bad case of look out for that first step it’s a lo0-loo, but I’m grateful to get a peek inside Rose’s home.

Check it out on The Cottonwood Tree:
http://thecottonwoodtree.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/a-virtual-tour-of-rose-wilder-lanes-former-danbury-home/

Sandra Hume posted this link with more on Beyond Little House’s Facebook page:
http://m.newstimes.com/business/article/House-once-owned-by-daughter-of-Laura-Ingalls-5722508.php?cmpid=fb-mobile

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 Academia.edu. 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.

Amelia Bloomer’s Grave

September 7, 2014

trundlebedtales:

This continues to be a post of interest so other people must be looking for Bloomer’s grave as well. I hope you will get a chance to visit it the next time you visit western Iowa, eastern Nebraska.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

Road to Amelia Bloomer's Grave

Road to Amelia Bloomer’s Grave

I picked up the habit in childhood of visiting famous people’s graves. Later as I grew more interested in Wilder, my mother starting saying that every vacation we ended up in a cemetery looking for dead Wilders (I pointed out that sometimes it was dead Ingalls, etc., but she remained unconvinced.

During my class in Council Bluffs this summer we got to stop at the Fairview Cemetery. Although I hadn’t done enough pre-work for this trip (really I didn’t, I literally just found out something I should have known about Tabor before I went this week – I’ll share soon), but there was a sign that said Amelia Bloomer was buried somewhere inside. I knew Amelia Bloomer was just one of the leading suffragettes that lived in Iowa, but I hadn’t realized she was buried in Council Bluffs. With no further help from any special…

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Wilder Farm From The Air

September 5, 2014

I wanted to make sure everyone got to see this video footage of the Wilder farm in Malone/Burke, New York. It really stumped me at first because while it’s too smooth to be a hand carried camera it was too bumpy to be either a camera on rails, a boom, or a professional steady cam camera man. (Especially note the strange hesitations before they fly through the building. When I posted this confusion on Facebook I was took it was shot with a miniature camera attached to a remote control helicopter type vehicle.  In other words, they used something like this. That made me immediately want one. How fun would that be!

Recreated Wilder Barns

Recreated Wilder Barns

There aren’t any spoken words or soundtrack so this might help you figure out what you’re seeing. Strangely it avoids the house at first and the new one-room school, but it gives you a nice overview of the reconstructed barns. Then we enter through one of the doors of the big barn and follow back through it to the walled in barnyard behind it. The big barn open at left should be the first one they flew through. Cut back above the barns and we get a good look at this walled in barnyard. Then we reverse our path through the barn and come out and get a quick glimpse of the house. Then cut to entrance through the door that’s on the far left of the barns into the carriage and sleigh storage area. Attention finally turns to the house. After that we get a beautiful shot of the barns from the field right behind the barnyard and that’s it. The Music is from Sleeping Giant Records and is a folk song recorded in 2001.

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 Academia.edu. 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.

Mentions August 2014

September 3, 2014
Sarah Presenting Around the Next Bend

Sarah Presenting Around the Next Bend

Our mentions posts are round ups of articles and mentions of Sarah Uthoff or Trundlebed Tales in the media from the previous month, plus sometimes some bonuses that I’ve just come across from earlier months.

The press release from the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library on “In the Kitchen With Laura.”
http://www.hoover.archives.gov/pressreleases/Labor%20Day%20LIW%20PR.pdf

I listed this last month, but since the event is still coming up, here it is again. Pepin Laura Days has launched a new website. They have included a PDF of me.
Sarah Uthoff

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 Academia.edu. 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.

September 2014 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

September 1, 2014

IMG_0176July and September tend to be the biggest months for Laura Ingalls Wilder related events around the country. If I’ve missed one please let me know.

Pepin WI

Laura Days – Sept. 13 and 14, 2014
http://www.lauradays.org

Independence KS

The annual fall Lamplight on the Prairie evening guided tour will take place on September 27th.  Lamplight on the Prairie takes you on a guided lamplight tour of our site with a special twist- at each tour stop you will meet the people from the pages of Laura’s books and Kansas history.  Our living history reenactors will bring history to life before your eyes.  Tours begin every half an hour and are limited to 15 people per tour.

Tickets can be purchased online  or in their gift shop in person beginning September 2, 2014.  We will launch an event page for Lamplight on September 2nd with the link to ticket sales and additional information about the event.

Mansfield MO

Laura’s Memories Pageant – Sept. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 2014

Wilder Days Sept. 19-20, 2014 Laura Historian William T. Anderson will be speaking and Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder from the NBC TV Show)
http://www.laurasmemories.com

Malone/Burke NY

Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment Sept. 27 & 28, 2014

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library

Good news, I’m returning as speaker!

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered –In the Kitchen With Laura – Sept. 1, 2014 11 am and 2 pm
With Prairie Walks lead by Park Rangers at 9:30 am and 3:00 pm
http://www.hoover.archives.gov/pressreleases/Labor%20Day%20LIW%20PR.pdf

Other Iowa

Melissa Gilbert’s Book Tour has come to Iowa. Come see her on Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
– 2:00 pm Cedar Rapids Public Library
http://newbobooks.com/events
7:00pm to 8:00pm at the Iowa City Public Library.
http://arts.uiowa.edu/events/live-prairie-lights-melissa-gilbert/2014-09-16

If you can’t come to either of the shows in Iowa, check out this listing of her other stops around the country.
http://www.abramsbooks.com/myprairiecookbook/

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 Academia.edu. 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: T Model Tommy

August 31, 2014

trundlebedtales:

Revisiting an important book about a boy and his Model T.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

I used to try hard to come up with books my little brother would read. He actually tried a few of them, but I can’t say I had a ton of success. One that I had given him that he enjoyed was called T Model Tommy by Stephen W. Meader.  I’ve recently been trying to encourage his godchildren to read and when he objected to my latest suggestion, I was surprised when he said they ought to read T Model Tommy. He remembered the book in detail (it’s been at least 15 years since he read it) and was positive they would too. I looked online and original copies seem to be going for about $80. However, I was absolutely delighted to discover it’s back in print, courtesy of the Historical Construction Equipment Association. They seem to have as fond memories of it as my brother. They have reprinted it…

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September 2014 Presentations

August 29, 2014

In the KitchenSeptember tends to have a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder events and programs and that leads to programs. This year I’m presenting at two of the events.

But even if there isn’t a program scheduled near you, it’s not too late. If you’d like me to come present near you make sure to tell your local library, museum or civic group. I’m really excited about my “In the Kitchen With Laura” program for this summer. If you are looking for a program, check them out.  Learn more here:
http://www.trundlebedtales.com/programs.html

And check out my brochure:
Brochure2014pg1

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 Academia.edu. 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.

 

LauraPalooza Call for Papers

August 28, 2014
Laurapoloza T-Shirt

Laurapoloza T-Shirt

I had meant to get this out as soon as it was finalized on Monday, but life intervened. Check out the Call for Papers for LauraPalooza. Submissions are due on Rose Wilder Lane’s birthday (Dec. 5th) and acceptances will go out on Laura’s birthday (Feb. 7th).

http://beyondlittlehouse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Call-for-Proposals-LP15.pdf

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 Academia.edu. 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.

Walnut Grove TV Show Reunion Report 1

August 23, 2014

trundlebedtales:

This was our first report looking ahead at the Walnut Grove Reunion.

Originally posted on Sarah's Notebook:

Join us for an initial report on the biggest cast reunion for 40th Anniversary of the NBC Little House on the Prairie TV Show. It will be held in Walnut Grove, Minnesota the real life version of the setting of the TV show. This was recorded at the end of October, so a few things changed since then; another cast member has signed on (find the current list at the Official website), the pageant tickets are now available for sale, and they have some of the reunion souvenirs available now at the Walnut Grove Museum Gift Shop.

Our guest was Walnut Grove museum director Amy Ankrum and Paul Valenti calls in halfway as a surprise guest. They talk about the major event the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and the Walnut Grove Pageant are planning for next July in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the “Little House on the Prairie”…

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Great Auk

August 21, 2014

Great Auk from Pa's Big Green Animal Book

Recently I’ve been doing my best to help spread word about the Passenger Pigeon Project honoring the 100th Anniversary of the death of the last known member of this once ubiquitous species. It made me realize that I don’t have a lot of information about the Great Auk. The Great Auk is well known to Laura fans because of its reference in The Long Winter and it used to be generally well known enough that “Gone as a Great Auk” was once a popular expression to use, along the line of “Dead as a Dodo” with a great number of hits in The New York Times. Today fewer people have heard about this bird and its sad fate.

Laura and the Great Auk

The Great Auk makes only a vary brief appearance in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books. I had previously posted about it when South Dakota birders (being the people most aware of what kind of birds you see in South Dakota) came out with an article narrowing down the identity of the “Little Great Auk” that the Ingalls family rescues in The Long Winter.
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/10/22/little-great-auk/

The Great Auk itself was extinct before Laura was even born, but the family was aware of its existence through Pa’s Big Green Animal Book as it was called in the “Little House” text. Here is  image from the book and what they would have read.

“The giant-auk is three feet high, and has a black bill four inches and a quarter long, both mandibles being crossed obliquely with several ridges and furrows. Its wings are mere stumps, like those of the Antarctic penguins. Thirty pounds have been paid for its egg, which is larger than that of any European bird; and there is no knowing the price the Zoological Society would pay for a live bird, if this truly “rara avis” could still be found.”  p.86

Hartwig, Dr. G. The Polar and Tropical Worlds: A Popular and Scientific Description. Springfield, MA : C.A. Nichols, 1876. Print.

Find copies to buy (it was widely reproduced) or read an e-book version from Google Books:
http://books.google.com/books?id=uOk-AAAAYAAJ&dq=%22Polar%20and%20Tropical%20Worlds%22&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=%22Polar%20and%20Tropical%20Worlds%22&f=false

The Great Auk and John James Audubon

Although he could not find an alive one at the time (and none had been seen in North America in decades) John James Audubon painted it to include in his Birds of North America based on a stuffed specimen in London. This image is widely available and is on my latest “Laura” shirt thanks to Cafe Press.

Here’s a link that includes the image and the Audubon’s Society’s summary of the Great Auk’s fate:
http://johnjames.audubon.org/extinction-great-auk

Once There Were Billions
http://library.si.edu/digital-library/exhibition/once-there-were-billions

You’re the Last – NPR
http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2014/02/10/274696130/if-you-re-the-last-of-your-kind-the-final-one-what-happens-to-you-3-case-studies

The Story of the Great Auk

I determined to find out more and while there are no less than two books just about Great Auk extinction I haven’t had a chance to read either yet, but I did make time for the fascinating chapter in:

Kolbert, Elizabeth. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Holt and Company, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8050-9299-8

The book tells the history of the concept and discovery of extinction and how it is continuing now. It is very interesting read, but I’m just going to share about the Great Auk. The basic story is this.

Great Auks were the original penguins (European explorers borrowed a familiar name and changed the meaning of a term once reserved for the Greak Auk because of a passing physical resemblance, as they did to many newly discovered birds and animals). Once the Great Auks ranged all over the eastern seaboard of the United States and the western coast of Europe with evidence showing that it reached as far as Florida and Italy in its range. They were well known in the Roman Empire and were pictured in some of their mosaics (geeking out some people not aware of the Great Auk’s existence into thinking the Romans made it to the poles). Penguins are their own family, but Auks are members of a family that includes Puffins and other birds that have survived. From reports Great Auks were fantastic swimmers and spent most of their lives at sea. They did return to shore for their mating period on inhospitable islands near Iceland in May and June. Unfortunately for the Great Auks, Europeans discovered the Great Cod Banks and starting in the 1500s they made regular voyages that often took them near their mating islands. So just about the time these ships were growing desperate for fresh meat, who should present themselves, but a gathering of Great Auks as large and tasty as geese and easily caught. It became an annual occurrence for each ship involved in cod fishing to come and load up at these islands and the population could not replenish under such attack.

According to Kolbert, “Auks were used as fish bait, as a source of feather for stuffing mattresses, and fuel.” Much like the bison or American buffalo on the American Great Plains they were slaughtered wantonly, sometimes even just maimed and released to die at their leisure. Estimates were that at the time of European discovery in the 1500s there were as many as a hundred thousand mating pairs on Funk Island. By the late 1700s, the decrease in their numbers was large enough to be noticed. This was unfortunate because it set off a mania as collectors for both museums and for individual collections became determined to find examples of birds and eggs for their collection, further hastening their end.

There had been three mating areas for the Great Auks. The first was Funk Island and right on the shipping lanes it was quickly disposed of. The second was Geirfuglasker Island which was taken out by a volcano in 1830. The last was a speck of an island called Eldey Island. Eldey became the Auks last stand. In June 1844 a group of Icelanders headed to Eldey by row boat. Among them Sigurour Iselfsson, Ketil Ketilsson, and Jon Brandsson fought the terrible landing conditions and went ashore. They found one pair of Great Auks and one egg. The birds tried to run, but were quickly caught. The men strangled the birds and tossed the egg aside after seeing it had cracked. The pair of birds were sold for roughly nine dollars in period money (approximately $300 in today’s money). The innards were sent to the Royal Museum in Copenhagen. The female Auk skin is now on display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, one of 78 such specimens on display around the world.  The story is known because two British naturalists, John Wolley and Alfred Newton, spent the summer of 1858 in Iceland in search of any sign of an Auk and talked to everyone they could find who had ever seen one, including men from that 1844 “hunting” trip. They realized the Auk was extinct. Newton was so moved and concerned by the experience that he set out on a mission to protect remaining species and The Act for the Preservation of Sea Birds that he pushed for passage in the United Kingdom was one of the first wildlife protection laws.

An Iowa Great Auk

Locally a replica Great Auk was for many years displayed in Bird Hall as part of the Natural History Museum on the University of Iowa Campus. Now like the examples in the NPR story above, it’s in storage.

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 Academia.edu. 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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