Laura Ingalls Wilder Building Update


The number one question I’ve been getting lately is when am I going to show photos of the Laura Ingalls Wilder building that I keep talking about. The number two question is what is my Laura Ingalls Wilder building?

Find a more complete answer  about “What is my Laura Ingalls Wilder buiding” here:

But basically it’s a building with the dual purpose of holding my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection and providing workspace for my Laura related projects. A few other things, like my mother’s cookbook collection, have snuck in as well.

Mix of Laura Dolls
Mix of Laura Dolls

Still Under Construction

So I have been hesitant to put up photos because it’s not finished and it changes every day. Plus it has a lot of construction debris still around. (I mean that literally – lumber, left over insulation, every tool my brother ever touched, etc., etc.) So I’ve been trying to wait until I had everything looking nice before I shared photos, but I also hoped to get everything finished up by June, which didn’t happen. We’re making definite strides. Something has improved about every day, but it’s still got a ways to go. Still I think it’s probably time to share a few more photos.

Workspace Coming Together

The filling cabinets are now almost all in place and almost all the books have at least gone through a rough sort. My work areas, flat space on tables and desks on one side of the room and a studio area on the other are slowly coming together. I’m still having issues with the Internet, but I actually used part of the studio for this video.

And the flat wall behind me (which is probably just a temporary measure -I want solid drapes that open and close over the backdrop to be my solid background) I used for part of the Legacy Luncheon videos.

Organizing Books

Technology Display in Process of Being Assembled
Technology Display in Process of Being Assembled
Rhea and Pioneer Girl
Rhea and Pioneer Girl

I have one section of library books shelves to collect and put up yet and that will involve some shifting and several of the sections need fine sorted yet, but for the most place the books are at least roughly where they are suppose to be. Originally I was only going to have Laura materials in the building, but after protests about the weight of the rest of my book collection it almost all joined the Laura books, so my one-room school books, historic clothing, history of museums, authors like Gene Stratton-Porter and L.M. Montgomery have shelves and so do my less serious research collections and just my generic novels and history books. My whole life I heard about my mother wanting to have all her cookbooks in one place so I gave her a section in the building too. So far 1,111 cookbooks carried out from various nooks and crannies around the house and still rising.

A New Tradition is Born

I was originally hoping to get a Multiplex (like the thing you flip through posters at a store) to hold a lot of my posters, but the cost has put that off for now. I have slowly been working on framing either professionally or by myself some of the more important pieces. I’m totally going to run out of wall space. One piece in particular a Pioneer Girl poster inspired my little friend Rhea who wanted to hold the book in question and stand in front of the poster. I’ve been inspired. Now like the International Quilt Museum in Nebraska, which inspired by a photo of one of their quilts with its maker, now asks guests to pose with the same quilt ,  I want future guests to get their photos taken there for the collection. It’s right by my hat hooks (one of the few concessions left to making it look like a one-room school on the inside, which had been part of my original plan).

Display Problems

Hat Corner
Hat Corner

I had been unsure about how to display my Laura t-shirt collection since I still wear them and want them to be accessible and a suggestion from Kelly Pelzel and family has resulted in a handbag sales display unit being switched over to T-shirts. I need to create a different base to lift it up about a foot and may need an auxiliary one (it’s full already), but I think it’s going to work well. It’s matched on the far side by two mannequins of my mothers that she has put up in two of my older Laura dresses. Note the wear patterns they’ve been worn hard.

T-shirt Display
T-shirt Display

I also have been collecting old aquariums to use for display cases. A lot cheaper than the ones created as display cases, they keep out a lot of dust and prying little fingers. I’ve gotten several of these put together now and scattered around the library. I could use about 5 more, but hope to eventually find them. My cousins Jeff, Jordan, Rory, and Chelsea have all been very helpful aquarium spotters or getters and I really appreciate it.

Still a Ways To Go

Costumes on Mannequins
Costumes on Mannequins

So that’s about where I am right now. Finalizing up the Internet connection, final sorting some of the books already on the shelves, digging out a few more long buried treasures (some I had honestly forgotten I had – also see my recent Amazon and Ebay listings as I try to clear out a few duplicates), and trying to get some order in the last pockets of chaos. I think it’s coming right along and I really hold an opening reception for it this fall. I already have a special key ring for the key, (right, Asa?) and I’ve ordered postcards to be the invitations (blank with no date yet), so hopefully you can take a look for yourselves soon.

Look for more photos of different things in my next post.

UPDATE June 13, 2015: I’m still working on my Laura Ingalls Wilder building. It’s been a lot of organizing. This still gives you a good idea about how it’s organized. I enlarged two of the photos.

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 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.


Published by

Sarah Uthoff - Trundlebed Tales

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 . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

One thought on “Laura Ingalls Wilder Building Update”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.