Living History Links

Kitchen in Pepin Museum
Kitchen in Pepin Museum

I used to use the link section of my blog quite a bit. Honestly I don’t often anymore and some of my favorites are no longer active. I wanted to shorten my super long left hand column, but not lose the links although, so here are what I previously had linked.

ALHFAM – Association of Living History Farms and Museums is the professional organization for living history historic sites and historians who reenact daily life. Although to get the full benefit of the organization you need to be a member, including access to articles by yours truly, this blog keeps you up to date on living history. Please consider joining and attending a conference.

Ben Franklin’s World – A great history blog on early American and colonial history.

Collectors Weekly – A website with posts about a different collectibles by experts.

Footnoting History – Footnoting History is a bi-weekly podcast series dedicated to overlooked, unknown, and exciting stories plucked from the footnotes of history.

Greenfield History – A Tour of Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI. Sadly it was last updated in 2016.

Historical Sewing – A blog and podcast of a historic sewer.

History Myths – Urban legends about history that never was, debunked in posts that take on things people get wrong about history and look for the truth. Currently she’s reposting updated debunks, but they’re still worth reading and sometimes she does new ones. Got a pet peeve history myth? Let her know!

Know Your Own Bone – A resource for creative engagement in museums and cultural centers.

Living History Farms – The living history museum in Des Moines, Iowa features different farms and a town along a timeline. This is their blog. However, the most recent blog post is from 2017. Between 2012 and 2014 they maintained a separate blog specifically about the Flynn Mansion (the restored home of the man who donated all the land that now makes up Living History Farms. In 2015 they combined the two blogs, but left the old Flynn Mansion blog up.

Uncommon Book – A blog for independent historians.

Way of Improvement Leads Home – John Fea’s essays and reviews on the history of American culture.

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The Big Merino

BIG in the USA

Sarah in front of Albert the Bull Statue

During the mid-20th century America had a bit of a boom in giant cement statues where they suddenly appeared over the country. My personal favorite is Albert the Bull in Audubon, Iowa. There are many others though including Chief Black Hawk in Oregon, Illinois, Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, South Dakota, and the Enchanted Highway in North Dakota. Sadly with the focus on speeding down the Interstate, America no longer creates such fun stops.

Australia seems to have gotten the bug a bit later. Their BIG phase seems to have been in the 1980s, but many are currently being refurbished including things like the Big Banana and the Big Prawn.

What really caught my attention though was that they have a BIG MERINO! (Start halfway through the video)

A REALLY BIG MERINO!

Merinos, of course, is the breed of sheep that Father Wilder raised in Farmer Boy. Merinos produce very high quality of wool. If fact if you see a breed of sheep attached to the description of any wool finished goods it’s pretty much guaranteed for it to be Merino. It’s a breed with a lot of positive characteristics. They are considered the best all around breed. (Sheep breeds have normally been bred to a purpose – wool, meat, milk, etc. An all around breed can do well in every category. )

A white sheep Merino breed lying down
Merino

The Big Merino was built in 1985 and it was moved and had a gift shop/exhibit space added under it in 2007. So now you have a Laura Ingalls Wilder reason to visit Australia!

https://www.bigmerino.com.au

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  FacebookTwitterLinkedInSlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

South Dakota History Conference 2019

Every year the South Dakota State Historical Society holds a conference on South Dakota history. They had done Everybody Eats and Laura Ingalls Wilder as themes of recent conferences. I was really impressed the two times I’ve been there. I’m not going this year, but it’s always interesting. Here’s the schedule.

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 ,  LinkedIn ,   SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Cell Phone Invented

A 1980s cell phone

The Henry Ford museum has a documentary show that focuses on things from their collection. Marty Cooper headed up the team at Motorola that developed the cell phone. It was an invention that changed the behavior of the majority of people on the planet. On April 3, 1973 on a New York City street Cooper made the first cell phone — to his major competitor to tell them they’d succeeded.

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 , LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

Pa’s Bell at Walnut Grove

Church bell in Belfry
Lutheran Church in Walnut Grove with Pa’s Bell

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.

Red Church Bench in Museum
Congregational Church Bench

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.

Church tower pulled up in air with rope at Walnut Grove Pageant
Pageant Chruch Building

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.

Jean Coday Oral History Interview

Title Card for the VideoToday’s post is doing double duty. In the first half, Jean Coday has long been the driving force behind the Laura Ingalls Wilder/Rose Wilder Lane Home and Museum. Coday’s interview reveals how she got involved with the museum, what role she’s played, and a little bit about Laura’s life in Mansfield. In the second half, I’m going to talk about oral history as a research method. Not a lot of people have a very clear idea in their minds of what research looks like. I like to share examples to help people clarify it in their minds.

This is an excellent example of what an oral history interview is like. An important part of oral history is including indexes and transcripts. Below the video are my notes with general time codes.

 

Ozarks Voices: Jean Coday, Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association, July 14, 2014

Ozark Voices is an oral history project undertaken by the Missouri State University Libraries. The interviewer is Tom Peters, Director of Library. It was shot in the director’s office at the Rocky Ridge complex. Coday also serves as President of HomePride bank in Mansfield.  Coday is from Ash Grove, Missouri.

Why did the Wilders settle in Mansfield? What happened to bring them specifically to Mansfield?

Mower goes by, watch things like that if you do oral history, it’s OK to cut and come back afterwards

August 22nd 1894 Wilders arrive

Cody never met Wilder, she was in Mansfield to visit her father-in-law before Laura died, but husband did, described about 5 min

How do people in town remember her? As farm woman who lived in community, everyone called her Mrs. Wilder

Saw as another farmer

Conversation from book about how got nicknames

Progressive farmers and laying hens

They’re trying to regrow orchard, have 25 trees, been a lot to take care of, have sketch by Laura showing how they planted them

Almanzo was a deliveryman

Almanzo wrote Fruit Growing Experiment Center, station told him to mix lye with oil to keep it on trees

Why Laura wrote the books

How did the books become famous

Why do people want to visit house

About 18 min They still get letters from children “Dear Laura how are you?” because they see her as a friend

Importance of family and love for each other

Did fame turn Laura’s head

Where original manuscripts are located

Mansfield owns 5 of the original “Little House” manuscripts and original Pioneer Girl

What was Rose’s role in books (on side of editor and book agent only)

Rose built Rock House and Laura and Manly lived there 9 years

Rose bringing electricity to farm, Rose brought out a single line phone, party lines were still the rule for decades after

Rose moved to New York City, Laura and Almanzo moved back to Rocky Ridge

About 25 min Irene Lichty and her role in forming association, Lichty’s father had been a Civil War Solider who married a much younger woman so Litchty’s mother was about Laura’s age. When Laura went to town she visited a couple of friends, including Litchy’s mother and the other aunt Betsy Pringle

Coday arrived in 1960, Litchy asked both Coday and her husband to serve on board

They had the house and 2 1/2 acres to start. Lichty was opening house bringing lunch with her, had bookshelf in bedroom with things to sell, by the time Codays came on realized needed to be more organized, they came 3 years after bought the farm

Litchy was primary guide in early years, board helped her in making repairs on home, reinforced it with cables throughout the upper level, they are shooting in Almanzo’s workshop which was briefly the bookstore and then the director’s office, Garage for cars taken down for museum,

Roger MacBride about 30 min

Both get MacBride’s relationship with Libertarian Party wrong, skates around Ed Friendly and Roger’s connection to show

Touch will controversy including court case on behalf of library, Peters sees in terms of intellectual property, Corday barely touches on it

About 35 minutes – People don’t consider Laura a Missouri author although Laura lived decades here. Twain is even though barely visited as an adult. Laura is a Missouri author by choice.

Laura going back to South Dakota and Rose’s feelings about Mansfield

Current fundraising projects – archives and museum buildings, adding trail

Have chicken coop, garden done by Baker Creek Seeds, hopes to return to original driveway and turn into a 1920s/1930s working farm,

About 42 min – worked on buying back land, now about 180 acres

Didn’t buy additional land until 1990 when bought the Rock House and 50 acres for 100,000. Paid that back and bought place across the way. Last buy was 87 acres that horseshoed around homesite. Still paying that off.

Hoping will increase visitation. Think will add 15% to visitation and hope that will encourage town to create more tourist supported businesses like hotels, bed and breakfasts, etc.

They still have contacts almost every week about someone wanting to do an article.

She re-reads the “Little House” series every year.

“She told a story in a way that is timeless and it was in a way that is so charming and so sweet that everybody feels better after they read them…You just feel like you’re part of the family. That’s how the children who read them or have them read to them feel.”

Note about Civil War women

Oral History

Some good points they demonstrate for oral history:

A good idea with oral history is to be part of a larger project like this one from Missouri State University Libraries. It makes it easier for people to find your efforts and helps guarantee that the work won’t disappear after you die.

Have a list of questions over subjects you think they’ll know about.

Try to make the subject comfortable.

Some points they can work on:

An important part of oral history is also making a transcript. While transcripts don’t always pass on the nuance of a recording, a print version makes it easier to scan to find and search and print formats are usually more stable than those of audio or video. YouTube does do an auto transcript, but I don’t see any attach transcript although they may have one separately.

You control your environment. People are going to be listening to this hopefully for decades. Pay attention to the sound. Get rid of background noises like lawn mowers by requesting they wait or waiting yourself. Have a good quality mic.

Learn more about Oral History:
http://www.trundlebedtales.com/beginning-oral-history.html

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.

Introduction of Published Works Page

We’re introducing a new page that lists of works that I’ve had published. It’s not a complete list, but includes major works and some that are just favorites. I hope you enjoy taking a look. I’ve copied the text from the original posting here. I’m sure the page will continue to grow and change over the years.

Below is a partial list of the published works from the keyboard of Sarah S. Uthoff:

Uthoff, Sarah. “Library Explains How to Find Additional Resources Online.” Kirkwood Communique. 27 April 2018.
http://www.kirkwoodstudentmedia.com/news/view.php/1033836/Library-explains-how-to-find-additional-. Accessed 2 October 2018.

Uthoff, Sarah. “Museum Evaluation and Fromative Assessment.” ALHFAM Bulletin, 47.3. (Fall 2017): 13-15.
NOTE: ALHFAM stands for Association of Living History Farms and Museums, a professional international organization for people who do living history. They had a problem with a switch in editors and so this edition actually came out in July 2018.

Uthoff, Sarah and Susan Uthoff. “Museums and Food Allergies.” ALHFAM Bulletin, vol. 46, no. 4. Winter 2016, pp. 20-21. http://alhfam.org/museums-food-allergies
NOTE: ALHFAM stands for Association of Living History Farms and Museums, a professional international organization for people who do living history. They had a problem with a switch in editors and so this edition actually came out in August 2017.

Uthoff, Sarah. “About The Ingalls Family.” Little House on the Prairie. n.d. Web. 6 July 2016.
http://littlehouseontheprairie.com/about-the-ingalls-family/
(Note: This was published in June 2016, but not dated on page. )

“About the Ingalls Family.” Little House on the Prairie. (20 June 2016).

With a Committee. Demonstration Manual for Foodways Interpretation – ALHFAM 2016

Uthoff, Sarah. “Grown-Up Laura Ingalls Wilder Party.” Little House on the Prairie. n.d. Web. 3 February 2016.
http://littlehouseontheprairie.com/grown-up-laura-ingalls-wilder-party
(Note: This was published on February 3, 2016, but not dated on page. )

“In the Kitchen with Laura Ingalls Wilder.” Little House on the Prairie. (15 Sept. 2015)

Referenced in “Banned Book Week.” School Library Journal blog (26 Sept. 2013)

Referenced in “Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic ‘Little House’ series still resonates years later.” Chicago Tribune (9 Aug. 2013).

Interviewed on Dakota Life for “Life on the Prairie” episode May 2013.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life,” by Pamela Smith Hill. [Book Review] Western Historical Quarterly 40.1 (Spring 2009): 113.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life (A Review).”Homesteader 6.2 (2007): 5.

“Letter to Laura.” [Essay] In Jack, Zachary Michael, ed. Letters to a Young Iowan. North Liberty, Iowa: Ice Cube Press, 2007.

“Do You Have an Electric Salad Bowl in Your Museum?” Thresholds in Education 32.3 (Fall 2006): 30-32.

“Twenty-five Years of the Little House Cookbook.The Homesteader (Winter 2006-2007): 3.

With Susan Uthoff. “Admission and Price Comparison 1972 and 2005.” MOMCC Magazine 26.3 (2005): 12-13.

“How to Cash in on a Quality Cookbook.” ALHFAM Bulletin 34.1 (2004): 7 – 9.

“Using LIW in the Classroom: Teachers Share Ideas in De Smet.” The Homesteader 2.2 (2003-2004): 4.

“Notes from Walnut Grove – 30 Years of Celebrating Laura.” The Homesteader 3.2 (2004-2005): 5.

“Collecting Our Past: Flax Machine, Wheel Spins Yarn of Simple Life” Cedar Rapids Gazette (8 May 2005): 2J. [NOTE: Credited to Johnson County Historical Society Staff]

“A Resource for Costuming 1900-1950.” [Book Review] Country School Association of America Newsletter.                 http://csaa.typepad.com/country_school_associatio/

“Ten Years of Celebrating Laura at the Hoover Presidential Library.” American Road: Newsletter of the Hoover Presidential Library Association 27.63 (2003): 15-16.

UPDATED: January 7, 2019

By Sarah S. Uthoff info@trundlebedtales.com

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.