Mansfield, MO – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Have you put Baker Seeds on your itinerary for your trip to Mansfield?

Sarah's Notebook

I just discovered some place else to check out just outside of Mansfield. Baker Creek sells heirloom variety seeds both nationally through a catalog and directly out of their store. Read about it here:

http://rareseeds.com/store/

The store is part of a created country town. From the photos on their website it doesn’t look like it strives for authenticity, but could be a fun place to spend some time. It seems like a more frivilous version of the Seed Savers Farm outside Decorah, Iowa near Burr Oak, which can also be a great additional stop for a Laura fan.

Why Heirloom Seeds Matter

In case you don’t know, most modern seeds are hybrids. Hybrid seed stock is inbred and then crossed. This creates one generation of super seeds, but that generation’s offspring are almost always worthless. You have to buy a new set from the seed company the next year. Previously varieties…

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Truman Home Study Book List

There is just something so intoxicating about seeing a collection of books in someone’s home. You just feel compelled to go over and see what books they have. That’s even more true when you visit a famous person’s house museum. Usually you aren’t allowed to sit down and gordge yourself on seeing what titles they had and what that might tell you about what they knew and what they thought. Normally they are safely kept behind velvet ropes.

Harry S. Truman Rocks!

So in addition to all the other cool things the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site does, (I always point them out as my favorite example on Facebook – always clever, always with an eye on their goal of making you want to visit) it shares out a list of Harry’s books. Not only a complete list, but a list you can get organized either by author or by title.

https://www.nps.gov/hstr/learn/historyculture/truman-home-study-book-list.htm

Just going through the As I see he must have liked Eight Cousins over Little Women (totally agree) and that he must have been an Albert Campion (Margery Allingham’s famed detective) fan. I think I would have enjoyed talking to Harry.

I don’t know why this isn’t done everywhere as a matter of course, but I’m so glad that they know how to do things in Independence!

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

In the Kitchen With Laura Kerosene Lamps

Beyond Candles

Although making candles is one of the major pioneer crafts that is demonstrated at museums or pioneer events today, as soon as they could people moved on to lamps that were fueled with whale oil, coal oil, and later with kerosene. People did definitely make candles, but mostly in the earlier years of American history, at lower economic levels, or in very isolated frontier areas without a settlement nearby. Lamps were easier to clean than candles, easier to keep functioning, and allowed a cleaner, sharper light. One of the many products once created by whaling was oil for lamps. The entire country ran on whale, but by the mid-19th century that was quickly shifting as the beginning of petroleum products stepped in to many of these uses – at least those that weren’t directly related to food.

Kerosene is Introduced

Robert Edwin Dietz patented the first practical kerosene lamp in 1859, independent of similar work being done in Poland. According to the Dictionary of Energy, “The Dietz Company went on to manufacture hundreds of lantern models, and became a pioneer in the automotive electric lighting industry.” Kerosene was the first useful product from crude oil and is produced by distilling it. Kerosene was where the money was. Gasoline was known during the same time, but didn’t have an immediately apparent use.

Karl and Jean Carrying Kerosene
Karl and Jean Carrying Kerosene

Laura and Kerosene Lamps

Although there is mention of candles in the “Little House” books, kerosene lamps or lanterns are definitely the rule as the series moves on in time. There is a lot of work to keeping a kerosene lamp operating properly and Laura wrote how glad she was that they could be put away in the cupboard in favor of electric lights.

While I was growing up we used to keep a lamp lit every time there was a storm and while I’m just as glad that our generator means no more blackouts, I still miss having a reason to get out the lamp and light it on a fairly regular basis.

Video

For this month’s In the Kitchen With Laura post we’re learning all about how you work and take care of a kerosene lamp.

Sources

These are resources I used for some of the invention details from our library, ask at your local library to ILL it.

“Cracking.” 50 Chemistry Ideas You Really Need to Know, Hayley Birch, Quercus, 2015. Credo Reference, http://resources.kirkwood.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/quechemistry/cracking/0.  Accessed 03 Mar 2017.

“Dietz, Robert Edwin 1818-1897,” Dictionary of Energy, edited by Cleveland, Cutler and Christopher Morris, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2014. Credo Reference, http://resources.kirkwood.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/este/dietz_robert_edwin_1818_1897/0. Accessed 03 Mar 2017.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Animal Update April 2007

Looking back on animals we had in 2007

Sarah's Notebook

A lamb and Ewe eating hay in our barn Sheep in Our Barn

Awhile back I posted about our bottle lambs. We had five for a little while, but over the last few weeks we lost two of them. You can battle death hand to hand on a farm, but you don’t always win. The ewe lamb went a girl who wants to eventually show sheep in 4-H. The two boys went to a farm that usually does farm tours for local schools. They should get a lot of love there, but it was hard to say goodbye to them yesterday. My grandmother points out that we still have 4 ewes to go, so we might have some bottle lambs yet, especially because it’s supposed to drop below freezing tomorrow night. Last year we kept our one bottle lamb well into the summer. Bobbolink got to the point where he would bite through any nipple we gave him, so…

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April 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Sarah Uthoff as Old Laura in Traer, Iowa
Sarah Uthoff as Old Laura in Traer, Iowa

April is a big month for Laura Ingalls Wilder programs, but you don’t see as many events. We do have two this month.

Spring Valley MN

Spring Valley Historical Society Annual meeting and dinner – April 22, 2018

Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival – Marshfield, Missouri

Reunion of the TV show cast – Alison Arngrim and Charlotte Stewart – April 26-28, 2018

UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!

The Friday luncheon at the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival is sponsored by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association, as a fund raiser for restoration of artifacts.  William T. Anderson will join Arngrim and Stewart to do a readers theater performance called Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered at the luncheon.

UPDATED April 6 2018: Added update above.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Mt Pleasant IA Midwest Old Threshers 2018 Events

People riding on a trolley see a restored truck
Watching a Truck from the Trolley During the Reunion

What Is Old Threshers?

Midwest Old Threshers Reunion is a very unique event in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. There are other “reunions” where people bring steam traction engines, tractors, and small engines to show them off and have a good excuse to get them out and play with them. However, Mt. Pleasant’s event has a broad array of different events and interests gathered in one place. Besides the machinery list above there are groups for old cars, old trucks, antiques, horse teams, an active printers hall, demonstration of equipment like a veneer saw, a threshing machine, and cooking down sorghum, an antique restored steam carousel, quilts, antique dolls, button collectors, a big craft show, trains (you can ride in), trolley cars still on their track (you can ride in), a group demonstrating life in the 1840s in the log cabin village fairly seriously and a group demonstrating life in the late 19th century not so seriously (desperadoes who steal candy & dance hall girls who stay fully dressed), a children’s game area including the chance to drive an actual tractor through an obstacle course and pony rides, fair food, big country music shows, and a theater museum mostly devoted to the traveling shows of the mid-19th to early 20th century. Come visit every year on an expanded Labor Day Weekend. This year it’s August 30 – September 3, 2018.

Events Keep Coming All Year

With all this going on the reunion continues to burst at the seams, but that’s only one week a year. They have a whole bunch of other events through the year.

This isn’t their full schedule, but these are the ones I think you might find interesting.

Steam School : April 28 – 29 and May 5 – 6, 2018

How to drive a steam engine like those used to work threshing machines. These are two separate classes, one in April and one in May.

Trolley School: May 5, 2018

Learn how to drive a trolley.

The Bussey Doll Event : June 9, 2018

The event is for doll collectors and those interested in dolls. There are speakers on various topics, everyone gets a gift doll, and there are vendor tables. My post about the year they did a Laura Ingalls Wilder theme is one of my most read.

Henry County Fair: July 18 – 23, 2018

A county fair like the one the James Wilder family attended in Malone, New York.

Summer Theater Happy Funny Are People:

July 20th & 21st at 7:30 p.m. July 22nd at 2:30 p.m.

July 27-28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and again during the 2018 Reunion

Every summer they once again put on one of the plays once popular with traveling theaters to give you a taste of late 19th/early 20th century entertainment.

Theatre Seminar: July 21 – 22, 2018

One of the departments of the organization is a traveling theater museum. It covers things like tent rep, opera houses, show boats, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin shows.

Reunion Event: August 30 – September 3, 2018

Annual Midwest and Great Northern Printer’s Fair:  September 12 – 15, 2018

It is specifically geared to people practicing or curious about letterpress printing for letterpress printers, from beginners to professionals. They use the extensive collection of printing equipment gathered in the printing part of Museum B. If you want to know about how they ran the paper in De Smet or how Carrie helped run a newspaper this would be a great event to plan for.

Holiday Events

They also run events every year for Halloween when the Midwest Haunted Rails shows you a ghost of a good time and for Christmas when you can take the North Pole Express to visit Santa Claus. Dates are set later in the year.

I hope you come and visit Mt. Pleasant for the best reunion anywhere or any of their other great events.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month April 2018

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt.

Shirt of the Month

This month we’re still in cold weather so we’re going to do another sweatshirt. This sweatshirt I got from an online store, but it’s from Mansfield. This is an interesting shirt because most sweatshirts that I’ve seen that have an image its all over the front and this is just a small embroidery about the size of a pocket.

White sweatshirt hanging on a rack

The symbol is stitched in maroon, gold, and black. Laura Ingalls Wilder is embroidered in a handwritten font. Wilder’s name is circled around a book and a fiddle. Home and Museum is across the bottom.

Mansfield Sweatshirt Logo
Mansfield Sweatshirt Logo

I’m not sure when this one was sold, but it’s a lovely fuzzy white inside. It’s a great one to snuggle up with when The Long Winter is storming outside.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.