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.

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September 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

While August was quiet, September has one last big splurge of big Laura events before most of the sites close down for the winter.

Pepin Replica Cabin
Pepin Replica Cabin

 

Pepin WI

Laura Days – September 9-10, 2017

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale September 1, 2017 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Mansfield MO

Laura’s Memories Pageant
Sept 1-2, 8-9, 15-16, 2017

Wilder Days: September 15,16, & 17, 2017

A special dinner in honor of Laura’s 150th birthday has been added to the Wilder event. Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder on the NBC series) will be appearing. You will be allowed to take photos in front of the Rocky Ridge living room fireplace.
http://lauraingallswilderhome.com/?product=150th-birthday-celebration-vip-reception-add-on

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Sept. 23, 2017 Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment

  • Civil War living history encampment and
  • Pumpkin painting and children’s 19th century game in the orchard, children’s corn pit in the barn,
  • 8th Annual “As Time Passes” adult juried art show on display
  • Entertainment, demonstrators, craft & produce

Sept. 24 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 3pm.

Vinton IA

Marc and Brandi Janssen Mary Ingalls Fiddle Program – October 15, 2017

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – September 4, 2017

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.

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 2 July 15

We pick up with part 2 of Day 3 of the trip.

Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017
Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017

I got some good tweets from Alison and Dean’s program today. This was their second program of the day. I’ve heard them separately before and it was so much better when they were playing back and forth.

Dean & @alisonarngrim @Arngrim on stage together is WAY more fun! #DeSmetevent #littlehouseontheprarie

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

I loved this line. There were plenty of kids costumes of TV characters in the 1970s, but I don’t really remember seeing many from any TV non-science fiction TV show lately.

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The crowds were just as big or bigger the second show of the second day.

Another great spillover crowd #littlehouseontheprarie #DeSmetevent @Arngrim

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

I didn’t get the movie title in the tweet and checking the IMDB, none of Kurt Russell’s sounded right.

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Dean doing riff on when his character broke up with "Laura" about her taking a job #littlehouseontheprarie

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

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Doug Hansen did a second show that was equally informative about the wagon.

Hansen Wagon demonstration This is really good #DeSmetevent #lauraingallswilder

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Then we got to listen to some more from Bill and Nancy about the history of De Smet and the Pioneer Girl Project.

Now the good stuff William T Anderson and Nancy Koupal #

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

I love this quote from Nancy.

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After the presentations were over I drove over to the roads of Manchester. I wanted to visit again. I hadn’t been there since the memorial went up. The memorial and the town pump are still there. If you don’t know, Manchester was where Grace Ingalls Dow and her husband Nate Dow lived. It’s 6 miles up the road from De Smet. Famed artist Harvey Dunn also was from Manchester. The entire town was swept away in an F4 tornado back in 2003.

The roads of Manchester are what I would call a little better than Level B meaning I wouldn’t drive them in bad weather, but they mostly still good and stable although the houses and businesses are almost all gone – a couple remain right on the edges of the town. I drove the entire matrix of roads that showed up on the GPS. They were all still in good shape except the road on the far western end of the grid. This last loop was in questionable condition. I made it fine with the Jeep, but I don’t know if I’d want to try it in a sedan.

Driving the streets of Manchester SD #Harvey Dunn #tornado #GraceIngallsDow

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Afterwards we considered our options and decided our best bet for supper was the Country Club. I hadn’t eaten there under the new management – they used to be known for their long wait times. It also is off the beaten track with just a small sign off the road that leads you from town south to the cemetery. I figured unfamiliar tourists wouldn’t know to stop here. It was quiet, the service was good, and the food was a bit better than the Oxbow, with the exception of the iced tea which the Oxbow still keeps the coveted best tea in De Smet award. Afterwards figuring that most people would be out at the pageant, I swung back around to get some Surveyor’s House photos. Then back to the hotel and the pool.

The next morning I had a leisurely breakfast and made one last quick swing by the Ingalls Homestead. I forgot to say earlier I had also made a swing by the Loftus Store and the De Smet News. The Loftus Store, besides being a Laura site itself, offers different souvenirs than the other homesites. The De Smet News is where you find all the news in town. I always pay my subscription when I stop, so I have a real piece of business to do in town.

I’ve just got to get back there when there isn’t an event so I can do some everyday stuff. I got to say hi to almost all my friends in De Smet and home that I can make it back there soon.

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.

August 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

August is a quieter month than July, but there are still plenty of events to choose from.

Wagon Ride at Pageant
Wagon Ride at Pageant

De Smet SD

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 11, 12, 13, 2017

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-20, 2017

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Aug. 26, 2017— Annual Cultural Festival – Native American Festival!

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

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Keystone Area Historical Association always hosts an event on August 3rd, previously this event was held on Carrie’s actual birthday no matter what day of the week it falls on. This will be changing in future.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Event August 12 & 13, 2017 10:00 am – 4:30 pm– Watch their website for more details.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  – August 5-6, 2017 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Watch for their page to be updated with 2017 information

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Hoover’s Hometown Days – August 5, 2017 1:30 pm Christine Woodside of Libertarians on the Prairie and David Davenport of Rugged Individualism to talk about their respective books.

 

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.

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2017

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Season has officially gotten underway again. If you plan a Laura trip before they open, make sure you call ahead. The homesite museums that are not fully open, may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see.

Independence, Kansas
Independence, Kansas

2017 Opening Dates

Pepin, WI – Opens May 12, 2017

Independence, KS – Opened March 1, 2017

Walnut Grove, MN – The visitor/gift shop stays open all year round with reduced hours in the off season. April 1, 2017 the ground open and the hours expand to include weekends. They add Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday Noon – 4:00pm. May 1, 2017 they expand weekend hours again to Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday Noon – 5:00pm. June 1, 2017 hours extend to 10:00am – 6:00pm daily.

Dugout Site normally not open until May, but this year it reopened this week. The date is dependent on weather conditions, if there is still snow or if it’s flooded it won’t open as early. Call ahead and check.

Burr Oak, IA – Opened May 1, 2017 MonSat limited hours through May. Hours expand with Memorial Day.

DeSmet, SD –
Memorial Society – Opened limited hours in January – April, expand to Saturday during May, and then go to 7 days a week June 1st.

Ingalls Homestead – Opened Memorial Day Weekend for regular hours 9am -7pm every day with activities from 10am -6pm. They host school visits M-F through May so if you plan on a visit before they officially open next year, you may not be out of luck.  Visitors are welcome to join up with a school group, but should call or email first to get specific times as they vary daily.  800-776-3594 – mail@ingallshomestead.com

Mansfield, MO –
Opened March 1st, 2017

Malone, NY
Opened Sat., May 27, 2017

Spring Valley, MN
Regular hours on Memorial Day Weekend, Sat., May 27, 2017.

Keystone, SD – Opened June 1, 2017

Vinton, IA – Since they are kind of in a different situation, being part of an institution that has to be open all year. They don’t have stated open hours, but will gladly give a tour by appointment. Pat Barr wrote “We  will give a tour any day Monday through Friday. They may call Justin Ruegg at 319-472-5221, Extension 1226 or myself at 319-472-5221, Extension 1110.”

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.

February 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

February tends to be bad time for Laura Ingalls Wilder events since in the northern part of the country tends to have event cancelling weather, but many people buck the weather and try anyway for local events. (Would it have killed Laura to be born in May? LOL) Here are the ones on my radar.

Bill and Me 2015

Pepin WI

150th Celebration of Laura’s Birthday – February 4-5, 2017 – an event in Pepin, Wisconsin in honor of Laura’s 150th birthday – Details coming later, but will include activities at the replica birthplace cabin.

Burr Oak IA

Spaghetti Supper and Silent Auction and 150th Celebration – February 17, 2017 5:30pm – 7:30 pm

Ushers Ferry Historic Village – Cedar Rapids IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Birthday Party Sunday, February 5, 2017 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Tickets Required. (Scroll down on page to find tickets)

Pomona Public Library – Pomona CA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable – Saturday, February 4, 2017 1:00pm – 3:00pm
http://www1.youseemore.com/pomona

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

150th Birthday Party at Old World Wisconsin– February 4, 2017  10:00 am to 12:00 pm or 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm More information –Preregistration is required.

National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas

The National Cowgirl Museum had quit their annual Laura party a few years back so thanks to Beyond Little House for giving me a heads up for this one.

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th Birthday Program – February 25, 2017 10am – 1pm

Books

New HarperCollins edition out Feb. 7, 2017 – 1st three “Little House” books, also available as single titles “Return to the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic series with this gorgeous box set, which includes hardcover, unjacketed editions of the first three Little House novels—all featuring new, iconic cover art, special forewords, and no interior art.”

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

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.