2011 was the 40th Anniversary of the De Smet Pageant. I was the speaker for one of their weekends and it was a great trip, except for the fact my still camera didn’t work. I never got a post about it put together so here is my trip through podcasts and videos. The photo on the left is one of the few I got on the trip.
This was the 40th of pageant back in 2011 and I interviewed pageant board member Ann Sullivan on the upcoming event. This is everything they planned for the big anniversary.
The coolest thing from the interview, the pageant was originally given on the actual Ingalls Homestead preforming roughly where Ma’s house is now with seating in front and on up on hill.
It was a year of floods in De Smet. That made it a great year to get photos and we talk a lot about it.
Apologies about sound quality of the podcast above. I drop out for a couple of minutes near the beginning and for some reason my sound level is very uneven and I blast a couple of times.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society , P.O. Box 154, De Smet SD 57231
1-800-880-3383 or 1-800-776-3594 http://www.desmetpageant.org
In this first episode, I travel to De Smet. I went straight on I-90 which I recommend if you have to make time or if you’re traveling with non-Laura fans. You get a good example of the kind of wind you get in South Dakota. I mention a government shut down which I’m sure most of you have forgotten where the state of Minnesota, not the federal government shut down after failing to make a budget deal.
My first De Smet stop is the Cottonwood Memorial site. I reference the video I made giving more details about it in 2009. Watch it now. One of my goals for this video diary was to get better at letting people already not in the know a better idea where I was in relation to other places. So I show the signposts on the corner by the Memorial, Homestead Road (which runs up to the Ingalls Homestead gate) and 280th (which runs between the Ingalls Homestead and the pageant grounds).
My next stop was Laura and Almanzo’s house in De Smet where they prepped to go to Mansfield right before On the Way Home. In the material Rose added she wrongly referred to it as a rented house when actually they bought it. It’s located on the corner of Loftus and 4th.
Good morning in hotel room and I mention I had done a podcast about what’s going on in De Smet. Next stop is the Laura Ingalls Wilder elementary school which is up Ingalls Avenue in the opposite direction from the cemetery. I do a quick exterior of the Loftus store and then I went on the cemetery tour which for some reason I don’t have any footage of. Then I headed out to the Ingalls Homestead where I presented Packing Up and in between shows I walked the Homestead. I presented at the Bethany Church at 1 pm and 4 pm. I misspoke while I walked around the prairie. I was pointing at 280th Street, not 208th.
That evening I attended the pageant and explore the pageant grounds. We take a look at all the buildings. The bathrooms are painted with murals on three sides done by Irene Colling in 1991.
Another podcast describing what’s going on. First we head out to Silver Lake which being a rainy year, was filled to the gills, making for some great footage. Then we headed out to the Ingalls Homestead and since I was there as a tourist, I took a little more time to look around. We go see them twist hay and ride on a horse drawn wagon. The end of the wagon ride is the one-room school that offers an immersive experience where you can play a school child from the late 19th century.
I didn’t get part of the afternoon filmed and then I returned to the pageant that night to watch it back to back.
Sadly last day and last roving report podcast. Next I quickly visited the Memorial Society grounds and then the Third Street house. I visited the Loftus Store and the Kingsbury County Courthouse. Finally one more quick visit to the Ingalls Homestead where I also got some footage for my non-Laura fan video that I haven’t gotten edited together yet and then I was off for home.
One more quick stop found me in Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I give a quick once over to the gift shop and the museum.
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.