I was inspired for this particular project by a TV news story featuring a man who collected Roy Rogers and had a Roy Rogers room in his house. His collection was eventually made part of a museum.
Find it here: http://www.dumontmuseum.com
Chicken Coop Caper
I thought, “what if I could have a whole room just for my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection?” And the plotting and planning began. We eventually decided that I could have it built where the chicken coop was. The coop was in bad shape and was way too large for our current chicken/egg production level. It had been put in place when my grandmother was selling eggs, fryers, old hens, etc. It had been made by putting two sheds together and cutting out the middle walls, so it wasn’t a very sturdy building.
The chickens had to go somewhere so first step in the project was finding a replacement chicken coop that she approved of. It also, sadly, meant knocking down my old playhouse, which had seen better days to have a place to put the new coop. That was done, a new coop was bought, I helped paint it, my brother painted too and built the run and then worked on clearing the former coop to clear a spot for the new building.
The New Building Began
After that was done, we brought in people to make the cement floor. They misread the plans and almost laid it the wrong way, but they caught their error in time and I was the proud owner of a floor. Next up was bringing in the pole barn building people. I had very carefully examined the same buildings at each and every fair I went to, especially the Iowa State Fair that has the largest and most permanent sample buildings. After careful examination over a couple of years, as everything else slowing fell into place, I choose Wick because their building was finished off the best. I figured that any company that couldn’t be bothered with details at the State Fair where thousands of potential customers could see it certainly wouldn’t be bothered with details on a farm. So it was Wick that did the outer shell and with a couple of minor exceptions, I’ve been very happy with the quality of their work.
From then on it’s been mostly sweat equity, but the interior framing is done, insulation is starting to go up and I have not hooked up yet furnace and air-conditioning units sitting in the corners. Once the insulation and wiring is done we’ll have a company come in a dry wall. However, we’re finally making some real progress.
UPDATED November 7, 2015: Work has continued on my building and it’s now finished inside. I did a little bit of editing for clarity, added headings and centered my photo at the top. Finally I added my current signature block.
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.