I recently reposted a video I had made of long-time Walnut Grove leader Shirley Knakmuhs ringing Pa’s church bell on Facebook.
From the TV Show
I got an interesting comment from “Nellie” from the TV show.
Quote from facebook December 15, 2018:
Alison Arngrim This real one is SO MUCH nicer than the fake one “Tinker Jones” “made” on the show! LOL. Ours was fiberglass and just went “thunk, thunk, thunk”.
Now I’ll “thunk, thunk, thunk,” every time I see that episode.
Walnut Grove Bell
The original Congregational Church building was torn down decades ago. Today the bell lives in the belfry of the English Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove. Unfortunately the design they chose for their belfry makes it difficult to see or photograph the bell well. The bell is rung every Sunday with the service alternating between 8:30 am and 10:30 am. During the Laura season the church is sometimes open or you’ll find someone who’ll let you in and you’ll hear the bell ring other times.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove has a bench believed to be from that original Congregational Church. For a long time it was in the small church built on museum grounds, but today it’s inside the Laura building at the museum.
You can also see a recreation of the building of the church of each night of the Walnut Grove pageant Fragments of a Dream. The town comes together and dramatically pulls up the bell tower.
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 Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.