This fall I was very pleased to have Robert Spangler come on the podcast to talk about the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa and the newly formed Mary Ingalls Society and their decision to start a pageant. Today I visited the school and I’m pleased to report the roof replacement is well underway. If you are planning on visiting before July be aware that for liabilities sake you need to enter the school through one of the long plywood tunnels that lead to the rear doors in the two stairway towers.
Episode 44 – Mary Ingalls and the Iowa School for the Blind
Originally Aired September 21, 2013
Join host Sarah S. Uthoff as she talks to Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School alumnus and historian Robert Spangler. The ISBSSS is the second oldest school in the state of Iowa and sits on a beautiful campus in Vinton, Iowa. The school’s most famous alumnus is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister, Mary Ingalls. Spangler is the force behind a very impressive website dedicated to the school’s history and is part of the new Mary Ingalls Society. If you’ve ever wondered about the school’s history, how they have faced recent challenges from politics and forces of nature, or want to know what’s up with their new Mary Ingalls organization tune in and find out.
Plans are underway for a Mary Ingalls Pageant to be held at the Iowa School for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa. The first weekend of August 2014, probably August 2nd and 3rd, check back here for more information as it becomes available. A combination kick off for the new pageant and Mary Ingalls birthday reception will be held January 10th at 5 pm in the Auditorium at the ISBSSS.
Mary Ingalls Society:
Mary Ingalls Society on Facebook:
Mary Ingalls Society Marks One Year:
Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind Mary Ingalls Online Exhibit:
Spangler’s history website:
Iowa Depart of the Blind History of the School:
My latest update about Vinton:
The Department’s Official Website:
When they last updated the Blind School’s website to become a Department website they took out a lot of explanatory material and the permission statement that they got to reproduce the single chapter about Mary Ingalls from Gleanings of the Past, a history of the school published as a book. However, they still offer the text of the chapter, now completely unsourced, on their page.
War of the Dots – New York Point versus Braille (Mary was taught New York Point, find the discussion about 30 minutes into the episode)
New York Point (what it looked like)
Iowa Department of the Blind’s History of Blindness in Iowa
UPDATE 2014: This was posted fairly recent. I think the big changes are that they did hold their first pageant in August 2014 and the exterior construction work is now finished.
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 Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. 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.