Floods Continue in SW Minnesota

Road with a HUGE hole washed away
Road Washed out on way to Pageant Grounds – Photo by
Nancy Amsden

I reported yesterday that the pageant was cancelled for this weekend since the pageant grounds are flooded. They are still waiting to see what’s going on after the water goes down, but hopefully they’ll still get something worked out for the following two weekends. That’s their current plan anyway. If you have tickets definitely call first and check road closures for the surrounding areas.

A red building and board walkway with rails now under water
Flood Waters Surround Building at End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum – Photo courtesy of Jakob Etrheim

There are other museums in the area also under flood danger.

Wheels Across the Prairie

Wheels Across the Prairie Museum is located in Tracy, Minnesota – the next town down the line from Walnut Grove. This is where Ma, Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace waited for Pa to pick them up at the end of the line of the railroad. The museum has the original depot including the bench they would have waited on. They also have the Laura collection of Marcy Schramm that’s in the main building which is safe from the flood so far. Schramm’s father was one of the founders of the museum.

According to Jon Wendorff, Wheels’s director, water has overtaken the “blacksmith shop, general store, cottage, one-room school house and our new building.” They are closed until Saturday, possibly longer. Wendorff says, “pray for the rain to stop all across the state.”

Historic Village surrounded by flood waters
End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum – Buildings Surrounded by Water – Photo courtesy of Jakob Etrheim

End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum

End-O-Line Railroad Park and Museum is about a county south of Walnut Grove in Currie, MN. I must admit I’ve only driven past although it’s been on my agenda to stop for awhile. Funny thing I always seem to be leaving Walnut Grove heading West…. 🙂

It’s a historic village/railroad museum and it has one of the end of the line turn arounds like Laura describes in Tracy in By the Shores of Silver Lake. I’ve seen one before, but if you haven’t – and even if you have – it’s worth a stop if it fits into your schedule.

Like Walnut Grove and Tracy, Currie has been under flood conditions. The main road east of town is shut down at the bridge.

According to Jakob Etrheim the water hasn’t made it into their buildings yet. “So far so good. Water is up to the buildings but not in yet. But the crest hasn’t come yet either.”

Cedar Rapids Flood

As I said in my intial report, we’re experienced in flooding. Ushers Ferry Historic Village where I used to work was majorly effected in both 2008 and 2016. There is a lot to flood recovery. It’s not just waiting for the water to go down.

Send all these museums and organizations and good thoughts and maybe consider how much you could send to help keep our southwestern Minnesota Laura sites up and running once they get that far. I’ll do my best to keep you updated.

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.

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Dean Butler on Almanzo Wilder Farmstead Site

Dean Butler visited Malone NY, so should you!

Dean Butler has been the TV star most closely associated with the Almanzo Wilder farm in Malone/Burke, New York. He created a documentary about Almanzo and the homesite, Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura.

Now he’s helping kick off a new fundraising campaign.

Highlights from the Video

Almanzo-Almonzo name

Wear and Tear on home, drainage issues

Launch of fundraising campaign

Endowment for home

Biggest crowds when Dean comes

Fundraising Campaign

The campaign intends to address both short term needs and long term goals.

From their website:
“The time has come for ALIWA to address some significant work that is needed to maintain the historic Wilder home and the barns. While supporters have been very generous over the years and visitor numbers continue to increase, other increased costs of operating the homestead do not allow us to accumulate the funds necessary to address costly maintenance needs. There is significant roof repair needed on the replica barns. The house has been suffering from drainage issues that, if not corrected, will continue to create excess moisture in the house, which has already begun to result in rot. The fix for this will require extensive ground and, possibly, well work to be done, as well as repair and mitigation efforts in the house itself. We have begun working with local architect, Tim McCarthy, to manage these projects.”

Learn more about the campaign.

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.

Take Your Class to a Day in a One-Room School

19th century teacher sitting at desk
Sarah at Teacher Desk in Stone Academy – Solon, Iowa

Every spring and fall I work with the Johnson County (IA) Historical Society to put together an opportunity for schools in the area to step back in time. Classes come on a field trip to take their students back to 1876.

One-Room School in Coralville, Iowa

Coralville’s one-room school is actually a two story brick structure. Coralville thought they were going to boom and so built a bigger two story building thinking they’d soon need more than one class. Unfortunately for them, instead Coralville faced several setbacks. It was decades before they needed to use the second floor as a classroom. By the time they built a graded elementary school – Coralville Central – in 1950, they were running one class on each floor plus one in the town hall (recently moved across the street from the school) and one in the old fire department.

Experience for Students

The elementary classes study the time period before they come and each is assigned a character. Most of these characters are based on actual students who attended the school that year, but some have been added to support current large class sizes.

Students dress up and act out their role as I lead them through a taste of what life was like in a late 19th century one-room school. I serve as a historical interpreter helping the students understand the what and the why as we go through some of the classes they’d have in a one-room school.

Learn more about the program, including the lesson plans and preparation handouts.

Whether You Live Close or Farther Away

Do you live locally? Suggest to your school they come.

Do you live some place else? Look for a one-room museum near you. Most have a school program of some kind.

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.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Events During 2018

It’s not always easy to find out about what’s going on for Laura Ingalls Wilder events around the country. I finally decided that current information is probably best posted on a month by month basis so for current information search this site for the name of the month you are looking for and the word event (for example October 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events). Check out the page version of this post which I update with major changes.

Let me know if I’m missing any. Most of these events are annual, but check with the group hosting the event for exact dates for following years.

 

NOTE: The Little House on the Prairie website uses a more extensive definition of events then I do. So check them out for additional listings.

Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA
Masters Hotel Burr Oak IA

 

Pepin WI

Happy Birthday Laura! – February 10, 2018 – Noon – 4pm an event in Pepin, Wisconsin in honor of Laura’s birthday
The Little House Wayside, County Road CC, about 7 miles from the village of Pepin, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in downtown Pepin.
The museum and gift shop in Pepin will be open, with birthday cake. The party at the wayside, hosted by Kitty Latane and Andrea Myklebust, will feature pioneer activities and old-fashioned refreshments, and a reading of Little House in the Big Woods.

Laura Days – September 8-9, 2018
Their big Laura event of the year it includes all manners of celebration of Laura including a Little Miss Laura contest, a regional fiddle contest, activities at the birthplace cabin, historic crafts, and Sarah Uthoff as a keynote speaker.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 9, 2018 10am-4pm

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

  • July 6-7, 2018
  • July 13-14, 2018
  • July 20-21, 2018

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays
July 6, July 13, and July 20, 2018

11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer. At this point, no speakers or celebrity appearances
are scheduled.

NOTE: One of the pageant weekends of 2019 they will have a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast reunion. They are still under neogiation so no cast list or firm date has yet been announced yet. Watch for more information. Check out my podcasts about my trip to the 2014 Walnut Grove Reunion.

Pepin Cabin
Pepin Cabin

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Fri., Feb. 9, 2018 5:30 PM · First Lutheran Church, Decorah, Iowa

Advent Christian Church Open House (the church by the cemetery at the top of the hill, you drive by the cemetery on the way into town but you have to go through town to reach the parking area and the church) – May  28, 2018 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  June 22-24, 2018

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale TBA – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Birthday Parties can be scheduled by any group at any time.

De Smet SD

These Happy Golden Years

  • July 6, 7, 8, 2018
  • July 13, 14, 15, 2018
  • July 20, 21, 22, 2018

Pageant Selection for 2018 – These Happy Golden Years

Pageant Selection for 2019 – By the Shores of Silver Lake

The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. – August 10, 11, 12, 2018 and August 9, 10, 11, 2019

behind the barns

Spring Valley MN

SV Historical Society Annual meeting and dinner – April 22, 2018

Almanzo 100 – Gravel road racing through the beautiful rolling countryside of Fillmore County, NE Iowa and SW Wisconsin – May 18-20, 2018

Annual Ice Cream Social – June 15, 2018

Eliza Jane One Room School Days – July 23-27, 2018

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-19, 2018

Christmas teas on December 1-2, 2018 (reservations required) 

Mansfield MO

The Ozark Mountain Players are still in a rebuilding phase. They are looking at expanding to other productions during the year.

Laura’s Memories Pageant

July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, 2018
August 31, 2018
Sept 1, 7-8, 14-15, 2018

Wilder Days: September 14, 15, & 16, 2018

Christmas Event at Rocky Ridge: TBA

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Annual Board Meeting where any member may attend Saturday, January 20, 2018, 9:00am Malone Lodge of the Elks, Elm Street Malone RSVP by farm@almanzowilderfarm.com or 518-483-1207.

Celebration of Youth and Morgan Horse – July 28, 2018

  • Children’s art on display, along with students’ essays. Award ceremony and the announcement of Honorary Laura and Almanzo
  • Kids art activities, 19th century games, vendors, food
  • Entertainment & more!

Annual Cultural Festival – The British Have Landed! – August 28, 2018

Celebrating the British heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment – September 29-30, 2018

  • Civil War living history encampment
  • Pumpkin painting and children’s 19th century game in the orchard, children’s corn pit in the barn,
  • 9th Annual “As Time Passes” adult juried art show on display
  • Entertainment, demonstrators, craft & produce

Sept. 30, 2018 Open extended Sunday hours 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Civil War reenactors living history encampment and one skirmish. Regular admission and guided tours available. Last tour at 3:00 pm.

Christmas with Almanzo  – December 1, 2018

  • Children’s  craft activities
  • Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings, carol singing.

ALL EVENTS AND TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Vinton IA

Tours are still available, but events are in doubt due to uncertainty of the future of the building. If you really want to visit do it before June 1, 2018.

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Ingalls Christmas in July – July 25, 2018 – 10:00 am

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s Birthday Party – August 3, 2018 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

William T. Anderson

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Her Pioneer Life and Letters – FlyerMarch2018 – March 28, 2018 6:30pm – 8:00pm

American Writers Museum – Chicago, Illinois

Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page Exhibit from November 18, 2017 – Spring 2018

American Printing House for the Blind – Louisville, Kentucky

They alternate between a Mary Ingalls party and a Louis Braille party. This year is a Braille party. Find out more about their other events.

Pomona Public Library – Pomona CA

52nd Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable – Saturday, February 3, 2018 1:00PM – 3:00PM. There will be a craft and refreshments provided by the Friends of the Pomona Public Library.

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year, but will have activities marked as those from the book all season long.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year as they are focusing on their 40th anniversary as a site. They plan to have a Laura event every other year going forward.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Weekend  – August 4-5, 2018 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Check out their website for more information as it comes available

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – September 3, 2018 2pm
Caroline Fraser, Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls
Wilder

Colt on Ingalls Homestead
Colt on Ingalls Homestead

National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas

The National Cowgirl Museum previously had held an annual event, but stopped having it. They brought it back for the 150th last year. This year they aren’t having one near her birthday, but maybe doing one near Christmas. It’s still under discussion. Stay tuned!

Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival – Marshfield, Missouri

Reunion of the TV show cast – Alison Arngrim and Charlotte Stewart – April 26-28, 2018

Last Updated: March 24, 2018
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.

Time to Book a Program

We’re at the start of the new year and requests for programs are coming in!

If you’d like to see me in person, tell your local library, museum, conservation center, or service group. Still on the fence? Here’s an example of one of my programs. It’s a shortened version of my Christmas program.

Funding

If you are in Iowa, I suggest you look into funding my program through a Humanities Iowa grant. It’s just a little half page form and you can have me speak for $50 (depending on location overnight accommodations might also be required separately). You don’t have to go through a Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau grant, but it is such a good deal that I strongly recommend it for programs in Iowa that qualify. I am also available to speak out of state.

Booking a Program

Presenting at Ottumwa
Presenting at Ottumwa

1.       Decide roughly what you want me to do. Do you have a program in mind? Read all about my possible programs.  Are you thinking about extras like handouts or crafts? How long do you want me to be there outside of the program (for example if it’s an event do you want me to circulate awhile before the presentation and drum up interest?)? Also, do you want me for one program or more?

2.       Contact me and set up a date. We both have to agree on a date and time that works for both of us.

3.       Price depends on exactly where you want me to go and what you want me to do. Please contact me so we can discuss the details. For programs NOT through Humanities Iowa normally I charge $200 a program with 40 cents a mile mileage, but exact charges can depend on the answers to number 1 above. You can talk with me for suggestions for funding.

Old Laura Cottonwood Tree
Uthoff dressed as 1930s by Cottonwood Tree at Memorial Site in De Smet SD

Qualifying for a Humanities Iowa Grant

As a member of the Humanities Iowa Speakers Bureau, I am pre-approved for their community group grants. That can be libraries, schools, museums, and other civic organizations or groups. Find a list of requirements at the link above, but basically you need to be located in Iowa and have a program aimed at either adults or families. Children only groups are not approved, but I’ve had approvals for groups that met within a school or had school groups come too as long as you also reach out to the public to come to the event. Be sure to specify how you will do that on the grant application.
Please note that you do NOT have to fill out the full grant application that is located under the Grants tab on their homepage for the Speakers Bureau.
If your group’s event is approved, you pay $50 and Humanities Iowa will cover most other expenses. (Extra costs might apply when an overnight stay is necessary, for supplies if you choose to add an optional craft, etc.)   For more information check their webpage.
Or contact them at:
Humanities Iowa
100 LIB RM 4039
Iowa City, IA 52242-1420
Storytelling
Storytelling

 

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

Smile You Can Donate To Laura on Amazon Nov 2017

Amazon Smile is a program where if you sign up for it a small percentage of each purchase will go to the designated organization of your choice — but only if you’ve registered with them.

Sarah by books 1
Sarah by books 1

Amazon Smile

Amazon has created a program where if you go in through Amazon smile instead of straight a small percentage of every purchase (taken off Amazon’s share – the price you pay won’t increase) and donated to your chosen organization. Learn more about it on their FAQs. I’ve think this is a great idea.

When I found out about it I instantly looked for the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites and none of them were listed. I got word to all the homesites about it with a hope from them to join the program, but it never heard back. So in the meantime I supported the USS Constitution aka Old Iron Sides. Two years ago I checked again because the Franklin Historical Society (before the Almanzo Wilder farm got up and running they were the prime destination in Malone, New York) publicized that they had joined the program. This time when I searched for other Laura organizations most  have joined. If you shop on Amazon, please consider going in through Amazon Smiles.

  1. Go to http://smile.amazon.com
  2. Log in to your existing Amazon account
  3. Search for the organization you want and select your organization

Amazon

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Amazon Smile Organizations

If you search the Amazon Smiles site under the exact names listed before the dashes, you can now give a percentage to these Laura organizations in the order I found them.

  • FCHMS – Franklin County Historical and Museum Society by searching for EIN: 14-1499839 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association – Mansfield MO by searching for EIN: 430949542 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society Incorporated – De Smet SD by searching for EIN: 460309777 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum & Tourist Center – Walnut Grove MN by searching for EIN: 411389293 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society – De Smet SD by searching for EIN: 237417985 or by keyword.
  • Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association – Malone NY by searching for EIN: 141694262 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Park & Museum Inc – Burr Oak IA by searching for EIN: 237427633 or by keyword.
  • Little House on the Prairie Museum – Independence KS by searching for EIN: 480875326 or by keyword.

You can also switch your organization as often as you want to share the love around so join up with Amazon Smile today, especially before you start your Christmas shopping!

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 Academia.edu. She is currently 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.

Photo Policy Change in De Smet

Sarah holding Little House book on the cement porch in front of Surveyor's House
Sarah Outside Surveyor’s House

Then You Couldn’t

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society has had a long standing policy of no photos inside the buildings. The Surveyor’s House, the Third Street House, and the Visitor Center/Museum were all no goes. It was strictly enforced. In fact, one time I got told not to take notes with a digital recorder. When I went in June we were still strictly told NOT to take any photos. The only exceptions being the inside of both the original and replica schools.

This used to be a standard rule in  most museums because they wanted to keep control of images taken there to make sure they weren’t used in a way they’d object to and to encourage you to buy slides and postcards, etc. from their gift shop. There was also a belief that flash photography increased the fading of artifacts inside. Research done by Kodak has shown that was not the case. Slowly now museums, as they want the free advertising of social media, are lifting these restrictions. Where they remain in place, please honor them.

Now You Can

Starting midway through the summer I saw posts of photos from De Smet start coming through my feed. At first I thought maybe it was a special waiver for the anniversary celebration, so I checked with them to get an official response AND I can now officially say the policy changed part way through the season. Photos are now welcome inside all the houses. They didn’t give me an official policy when I e-mailed, but I assume they have one. Ask if you intend to do anything more with the photos than personal use or a short social media post.

Reason to Go Back

So if you were looking for an excuse to plan a trip back to De Smet NOW you have a good reason! I wish I’d have known when I was there for the event in July, but I’d just taken the tour in June so I didn’t go. I would have if I’d have known. I’ll have to be back soon and I hope you will too.

UPDATED September 19 2017: From Museum Director Tessa Flak This summer the Society has started to allow visitors to take pictures inside the museum buildings for personal use only, however, we ask you not to film anything. Also, we don’t allow visitors to take pictures in our exhibit. Please contact the Society if you plan to use our photos for more then personal use. Thank you all for understanding.” I removed references to video from this post after she made this comment on Facebook. The comment is added here with her permission.

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.