Farm Expert Connected to Blockbuster Movie

Since Disney has opened this park this is an even better story.

Sarah's Notebook

Avatar Update

Since I originally posted this an amazing recreation of the planet from the movie has opened at Walt Disney World.

Part of the floating islands at Pandora in Walt Disney World Pandora Floating Islands – Photo courtesy of Alissa Craig Firket

That world creation is even more important now it’s immersive. Holt’s research must have been incredibly useful as the world expanded.

A creek with exotic vegetation Pandora’s Creek – Courtesy Alissa Craig Firket

Plant Research

James Cameron’s new movie Avatar has made a big splash. Jodie Holt is a weed researcher at the University of California at Riverside. James Cameron called on her to help fill some blanks about alien plant life and to help fill out some ideas about the work Sigourney Weaver’s character would do. Holt showed Weaver how “someone in the profession would dress and behave and how to approach a plant to take samples. Holt wrote a chapter for the companion book, Avatar: An Activist Survival Guide about Survival…

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Ellis Island Didn’t Change Your Relative’s Name

The huge main hall of the interior of Ellis Island
Ellis Island Linked from Ellis Island National Park

Reasons why things happen either live on in family stories or are ignored as unimportant. If a certain generation didn’t think something was an important enough to tell a story about, the true reason gets lost and people make assumptions and those assumptions are passed on.

It’s a Good Story

One story people have made up to explain why a relative’s name suddenly changed spellings or changed completely and they knew Ellis Island took names so surely that’s where it happened….no. It makes a good story, but it isn’t true. At Ellis Island they weren’t writing down names, they were checking names off a list and comparing answers to questions from what they had said to the shipping company back home.

In addition, the idea of them struggling with all these languages isn’t all that accurate either. A majority of the workers at Ellis Island were immigrants themselves and spoke multiple languages. If there was an unbridgeable language barrier charities located nearby were glad to send an interpreter.

What Probably Really Did Happen

There really wasn’t an equivalent of a modern day passport. What names they verbally told the booking agents were normally good enough. Making a legal name change didn’t require any special permission or paperwork, you just started using another name. Many immigrants changed their names themselves; to simplify spelling, to sound more American, or even to match the majority nationality in their neighborhood.

How Do I Know?

This was brought to my attention by the History Myths Debunked blog. But you can trace the story back with more information through the Smithsonian Magazine and on to the most thorough exploration in the New York Public Library blog.

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 February 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 is my favorite Laura sweatshirt. I got it in Pepin at the greatly lamented Little House Store in Lund, WI. Lund is a couple of miles down the road from the birthplace. You go on the road past the cabin until the road Ts and then turn left. It was run for years as a side job for a teacher from Minnesota. She always had a unique selection of items that were different from the homesite stores. Sadly she died and her family closed the store.

A store front with the sign Little House Store
The LIttle House Store in Lund, WI

I just love the design on the front. The sage green and the bright pink colors and flower edging make a unique design to compliment the cabin which looks like an old fashioned photograph.

Green sweatshirt
Birthplace Sweatshirt

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.

Winter Weather

Since we are having a proper Iowa winter again this year in the Midwest, I thought people might appreciate this post from 2008.

Sarah's Notebook

In Iowa it is surely winter. We really don’t have any right to complain because we haven’t had a proper Iowa winter in about ten years. There have been ice storm winters and occasional blizzard winters, but we haven’t had a proper lasts all winter type winter for 10 years easily. This year it got an early start right at the beginning of December (they have started earlier – we have a movie of my grandfather picking corn on Thanksgiving in the snow) and has not let up since. Luckily while it has been very cold at times (first time I heard of a negative 40 windchill in years) for the most part the extreme cold weather hasn’t come with the storm decreasing the amount of snow and insuring that the snow is wet and heavy enough that it doesn’t blow easily. Our farm (and at present the roads – three days…

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Laura Ingalls Wilder Events During 2018

It’s not always easy to find out about what’s going on for Laura Ingalls Wilder events around the country. I finally decided that current information is probably best posted on a month by month basis so for current information search this site for the name of the month you are looking for and the word event (for example October 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events). Check out the page version of this post which I update with major changes.

Let me know if I’m missing any. Most of these events are annual, but check with the group hosting the event for exact dates for following years.

 

NOTE: The Little House on the Prairie website uses a more extensive definition of events then I do. So check them out for additional listings.

Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA
Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA

 

Pepin WI

Happy Birthday Laura! – February 10, 2018 – Noon – 4pm an event in Pepin, Wisconsin in honor of Laura’s birthday
The Little House Wayside, County Road CC, about 7 miles from the village of Pepin, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in downtown Pepin.
The museum and gift shop in Pepin will be open, with birthday cake. The party at the wayside, hosted by Kitty Latane and Andrea Myklebust, will feature pioneer activities and old-fashioned refreshments, and a reading of Little House in the Big Woods.

Laura Days – September 8-9, 2018
Their big Laura event of the year it includes all manners of celebration of Laura including a Little Miss Laura contest, a regional fiddle contest, activities at the birthplace cabin, historic crafts, and Sarah Uthoff as a keynote speaker.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 9, 2018 10am-4pm

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

  • July 6-7, 2018
  • July 13-14, 2018
  • July 20-21, 2018

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays
July 6, July 13, and July 20, 2018

11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer. At this point, no speakers or celebrity appearances
are scheduled.

NOTE: One of the pageant weekends of 2019 they will have a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast reunion. They are still under neogiation so no cast list or firm date has yet been announced yet. Watch for more information. Check out my podcasts about my trip to the 2014 Walnut Grove Reunion.

Pepin Cabin
Pepin Cabin

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 5:30 PM · First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa

Advent Christian Church Open House (the church by the cemetery at the top of the hill, you drive by the cemetery on the way into town but you have to go through town to reach the parking area and the church) – May  28, 2018 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  June 22-24, 2018

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale TBA – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Birthday Parties can be scheduled by any group at any time.

De Smet SD

These Happy Golden Years

  • July 6, 7, 8, 2018
  • July 13, 14, 15, 2018
  • July 20, 21, 22, 2018

Pageant Selection for 2018 – These Happy Golden Years

Pageant Selection for 2019 – By the Shores of Silver Lake

The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. – August 10, 11, 12, 2018 and August 9, 10, 11, 2019

behind the barns

Spring Valley MN

SV Historical Society Annual meeting and dinner – April 22, 2018

Almanzo 100 – Gravel road racing through the beautiful rolling countryside of Fillmore County, NE Iowa and SW Wisconsin – May 18-20, 2018

Annual Ice Cream Social – June 15, 2018

Eliza Jane One Room School Days – July 23-27, 2018

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-19, 2018

Christmas teas on December 1-2, 2018 (reservations required) 

Mansfield MO

The Ozark Mountain Players are still in a rebuilding phase. They are looking at expanding to other productions during the year.

Laura’s Memories Pageant

July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, 2018
August 31, 2018
Sept 1, 7-8, 14-15, 2018

Wilder Days: September 14, 15, & 16, 2018

Christmas Event at Rocky Ridge: TBA

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Annual Board Meeting where any member may attend Saturday, January 20, 2018, 9:00am Malone Lodge of the Elks, Elm Street Malone RSVP by farm@almanzowilderfarm.com or 518-483-1207.

Celebration of Youth and Morgan Horse – July 28, 2018

  • Children’s art on display, along with students’ essays. Award ceremony and the announcement of Honorary Laura and Almanzo
  • Kids art activities, 19th century games, vendors, food
  • Entertainment & more!

Annual Cultural Festival – The British Have Landed! – August 28, 2018

Celebrating the British heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment – September 29-30, 2018

  • Civil War living history encampment
  • Pumpkin painting and children’s 19th century game in the orchard, children’s corn pit in the barn,
  • 9th Annual “As Time Passes” adult juried art show on display
  • Entertainment, demonstrators, craft & produce

Sept. 30, 2018 Open extended Sunday hours 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Civil War reenactors living history encampment and one skirmish. Regular admission and guided tours available. Last tour at 3:00 pm.

Christmas with Almanzo  – December 1, 2018

  • Children’s  craft activities
  • Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings, carol singing.

ALL EVENTS AND TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Vinton IA

Tours are still available, but events are in doubt due to uncertainty of the future of the building. If you really want to visit do it before June 1, 2018.

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Ingalls Christmas in July – July 25, 2018 – 10:00 am

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s Birthday Party – August 3, 2018 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

American Writers Museum – Chicago, Illinois

Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page Exhibit from November 18, 2017 – Spring 2018

American Printing House for the Blind – Louisville, Kentucky

They alternate between a Mary Ingalls party and a Louis Braille party. This year is a Braille party. Find out more about their other events.

Pomona Public Library – Pomona CA

52nd Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable – Saturday, February 3, 2018 1:00PM – 3:00PM. There will be a craft and refreshments provided by the Friends of the Pomona Public Library.

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year, but will have activities marked as those from the book all season long.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year as they are focusing on their 40th anniversary as a site. They plan to have a Laura event every other year going forward.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Weekend  – August 4-5, 2018 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Check out their website for more information as it comes available

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – September 3, 2018 2pm
Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls
Wilder

Colt on Ingalls Homestead
Colt on Ingalls Homestead

National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas

The National Cowgirl Museum previously had held an annual event, but stopped having it. They brought it back for the 150th last year. This year they aren’t having one near her birthday, but maybe doing one near Christmas. It’s still under discussion. Stay tuned!

Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival – Marshfield, Missouri

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

Last Updated: February 8, 2018
By Sarah S. Uthoff info@trundlebedtales.com

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Top 10 Posts During January 2018

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too.

Sarah in blue plaid prairie dress by Lincoln Highway
Sarah at Lincoln Highway Bridge

Pageant Travel Advice

T-Shirt of the Month January 2018

Spring Valley Events 2018

Sewing With Nancy Zeiman

In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

New Publicity Photo

Anne Frank Survivor

Booking a Program

What comes next?

Time to Book a Program

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

My Upcoming Schedule

These are my confirmed presentations for this year. Take a look. Is there a program coming near you?

Sarah at Flindt's Garage on Ingalls Homestead
Sarah at Flindt’s Garage on Ingalls Homestead

That’s it for this month so far, but 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.

Learn more here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/booking-a-program
Find descriptions of the various programs available:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/program-descriptions

Schedule

  • Historical Collections of Grundy County – Morrison, Iowa – General Laura Program – March 11, 2018 – 2 pm
  • Winterset Public Library – Winterset, Iowa – March 16, 2017
    2 pm – In the Classroom With Laura
    6:30 pm – In the Kitchen With Laura (1930s version)
  • Urbandale Public Library – Urbandale, Iowa – In the Kitchen With Laura – Pioneer Version – March 17, 2018 – 10 am
  • St. Charles City-County Library District (Saint Louis, Missouri Area) – April 14, 2018
    Middendorf-Kredell Branch at 10 am (General Laura Program)
    Spencer Road Branch at 3pm (In the Kitchen With Laura)
  • Des Moines Public Library – Des Moines, Iowa – In the Kitchen with Laura – April 23, 2018 – 2pm
  • Tama County Historical Society – Toledo, Iowa – General Laura Program – May 2, 2018 – 7pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes May 7, 14, and 21, 2018 (Not open to the public)
  • Country School Association of America:18th Annual Schoolhouse Conference – Beatrice, NE – What’s For Lunch Update – June 17-20, 2018 (Conference Registration Required)
  • Laura Days – Pepin, WI – Packing Up – September 8-9, 2018

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  Facebook,  Twitter,  Google+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.