Check out this radio news story from NPR. One of the improvements on the Almanzo Wilder Farm grounds has been the building of the one-room school replica. They just finished a successful fundraising campaign of $950 to add a belfry to the school and I realized I still hadn’t shared this news story so it seems like the perfect time.
Sadly they don’t give time codes, but this is interesting for this. The news story is from August 2013 and covers the event. Although it mentions celebrities Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder) and Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder) who dedicated and appeared, the interview is with vice-president of the Wilder Association Ken Carre who was actually involved in the building. It’s a good and interesting interview. They are wanting to represent rural life in the “North Country” in the 1860s. Hops was the big cash crop, but there isn’t any evidence that James Wilder grew it. They address the fact that there are three possible schools as candidates for the one Almanzo attended and the downside to moving them that lead them to go the replica route. They based a lot of the school, especially on the interior, on a contract that they found for a nearby school that was built at the same town. They acknowledge schools were different in different areas. He talks about the 1920s is all of history because it’s what we remember and have photographs of bias. Carre also talks about the international appeal of the Little House series.
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 acting 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.