Cooking at Ushers Ferry June 2019

Sarah in 1890s Outfit Baking
Sarah Baking in Usher House Kitchen

Are you looking for a fun project for Wednesday, June 20th? Then come on out to Ushers Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids.

Ushers Ferry is where I got my start in living history and first and third person historical interpretation. In the last couple of years I’ve returned for a couple of events and gotten a chance to cook on a wood cookstove again.

I’m going to be heading back next week.

Stop by:

Wednesday, June 21, 2019 between 5:30 and 8:30pm, tour Ushers Ferry and stop in to see me cook!

I’ll be in the Usher House.

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.

Anne movie sites you can visit

Although his later productions were an atrocity on L.M. Montgomery’s work, I still think Kevin Sullivan’s original Anne of Green Gables movie was a good adaption and it was a preview of this production that said Anne was a cross between Little House on the Prairie and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – which it really isn’t – that lead me to read L.M. Montgomery in the first place (it wasn’t until after the original production that Sullivan decided he was a better writer than one of the all time greats and totally lost his way).  I enjoy the original movie . My cousin and I used to rewind and rewatch the Anne and Gilbert scene on the bridge over and over “It’s you I always wanted” [Sound effects] KISS. WHIRRR [the whirr was the VCR rewinding – actually we still say that to each other sometimes just like that]. Frankly, although it has about as much to do with Montgomery’s writing as the NBC Little House on the Prairie series had to do with Laura’s,  I also enjoyed Road to Avonlea. While the writing was uneven, the actors were wonderful and truly created a town. The saving grace was Gus Pike and his romance with Felicity King. The actors sold that material and frankly the show sparkled best once Gus came on and his absence for part of the final season fully showed the importance the character had for the show.
So I will continue to offer up filming locations as I find them because personally I would like to visit them myself. I hope you enjoy them too.

One of the links on the side of the page is Gilbert vs Gus to which I say, “What do you mean I can’t have both?” 😉

Since a previous post I had linked to about filming has since been taken down from the Sullivan Production site I’m going to list the locations here, but please go to link to read the entire article and see photos that will help you place the locations.

The Avonlea Village, PEI

Dalvay-By-The-Sea Country Inn and Restaurant, PEI-

Westfield Heritage Village, Ontario –

Since I think it’s important to explain this one I’ll also quote from their original post by Angela Hydes:

Scenes from all 3 Anne Films and Road to Avonlea were filmed in this pioneer village. Annually, this area also hosts an Anne of Green Gables Day, including an Anne Look-a-like Contest. The Jerseyville Railway Station here was used as the Bright River Station in Anne of Green Gables, and also where Sara Stanley, her Nanny and Andrew King first arrived in Avonlea in Road to Avonlea: Season 1. The General Store was used for the interior of Lawson’s Store, where Matthew bought Anne the “puffed-sleeves” dress for Anne.

In addition to filming on site at Westfield, artifacts from its collection have been used extensively to furnish the movie sets for the first two Anne of Green Gables films and Road to Avonlea.

Century Mills, Gormley Ontario (Sorry no link for this one) and again I’ll quote Angela Hydes’s explanation

The bridge scene between Anne and Gilbert takes place in this area, in addition to the scene in which Anne pretends to be The Lily Maid. Unfortunately the bridge became unsafe and was replaced with a new bridge in the early 1990s. Fortunately the new bridge is identical to the one used in the movie.

Previously I posted some sites they had officially tweeted. I still want someone to explain how they are listing two separate places as White Sands, I understand it could be part and part, but would like a fuller explanation of what exactly was used where.

Sullivan Anne of Green Gables sites

Apron Museum

Regular readers will know that one of my projects that I have barely started on is researching aprons. It turns out that there is an actual Apron Museum in Mississippi. They were featured in American Profile magazine and there is a video on their website. Check it out. Their main focus is aprons from the 1950s.

Apron Introduction

I love it when two of my interests cross over. In this case it’s historic clothing and historic foodways and we take a brief look at the apron and its history. This is just an introduction, I hope to do more work on it and eventually get a survey of people who wore aprons, what they looked liked and what they did with them. I have one correction on this. I was wrong about the decade when the plastic apron holders came in, that was the early 1960s, not the 1970s as I mis-stated during the episode.

I’m also continuing to look for dated apron photos and YOUR memories of aprons, so please share. You can e-mail me at and at

Sarah Uthoff
Trundlebed Tales
P.O. Box 111
Solon IA 52333

Keep an eye on this blog for more dated apron posts and enjoy the radio show episode below.

Trundlebed Tales Visit Historical Society of Marshalltown

Packing Up 3
Packing Up 2

The Historical Society of Marshalltown, Iowa just sent me some photos of my program there. They gave me permission to share. I was doing my program “Packing Up” which involves Laura Ingalls Wilder looking back through a trunk full of memories in 1894.

Packing Up at Marshalltown IA

Wedding Reception Aprons

Shower Aprons 1969

One of my continuing interests is in aprons. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do too much on them although I’ve gotten some articles, books, and images from women’s magazines. I’m still looking for dated photos of people wearing aprons. Here’s another dated find. This is from my parents’s wedding reception.

This photo shows another class of aprons. This example is matching aprons for a special occasion like a wedding shower or reception. Usually these were frothy, decorative creations that were never meant to really protect clothes or last long. Note the aprons on about half the women at this wedding reception from 1969. Please share any dated apron photos you have.

UPDATE April 18, 2015: I added my signature block and did a little editing for clarification.

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 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.

Apron Photo

As my webpage says, one of my on going projects is to research aprons. It’s been slow going though and I have gotten much of chance to do more than collect a few period articles lately. However, I have been scanning photos out of my grandmother’s photo album

Dora Kessler's 80th Birthday
Dora Kessler

(she’s the one on the far left) and I stumbled across this one from my Great-Great-Grandmother’s 80th birthday, October 3, 1945. Both Dora Kessler (the honoree) and her daughter Neva Kessler Buchmayer are wearing their aprons in this important family photo.

Gram Kessler is still wearing an apron with a pin up bib. I can’t believe it. That would drive me crazy. I think straps are the best innovation ever in full length aprons. Here she is, not too far fashion in her dress, but still wearing her old style circa 1900 apron, just shortened in style to match her modern dress. Neva is also wearing a full length apron of a style I like and the style she was still wearing of aprons when I knew her in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It has straps and is a very attractive apron, while still being useful covering much of the clothes and with an ample skirt portion for the many other tasks aprons were used for.

Apron close up
Apron close up

While I’ve found a few other apron photos I’ll be sharing in future (and updating to my website soon) I really was so pleased to find this image. If anyone comes across a dated family photo with an apron, I’d be delighted to see a copy.