Top 10 Posts During April 2018

People riding on a trolley see a restored truck
Watching a Truck from the Trolley During the Reunion

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too.

Mt Pleasant IA Midwest Old Threshers 2018 Events

April 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Schedule of Presentations

Top 10 Posts During March 2018

Booking a Program

Truman Home Study Book List

In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

Mansfield, MO – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

T-Shirt of the Month April 2018

In the Kitchen With Laura July 2014

In the Kitchen With Laura Kerosene Lamps

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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May 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

May is really when Laura Ingalls Wilder season gets started. Most of what happens though is that the homesites open. I’m going to do a post about that later this month. For normal events we have a regular one and a really unique one in Spring Valley, Minnesota.

Burr Oak IA

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

Spring Valley MN

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

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.

May 2018 Presentations

Sarah at Kirkwood Booth ISF 2017

May is a little slower than April for presentations, but this is when all the rest of the homesites open. So that makes up for it.

  • Tama County Historical Society – Toledo, Iowa – Packing Up – May 2, 2018 – 7pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes May 7, 14, and 21, 2018 (Not open to the public)

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 a Trip like Laura on the Cassville Ferry

Revisit the Cassville Ferry.

Sarah's Notebook

If you are out traveling around the Midwest, consider a trip on the Cassville Ferry.

Most of the traveling Laura did in the books was before bridges were common. The Ingalls family crossed rivers by ford or by ferry. Today as close as you can get to that experience is the Cassville Ferry across the Mississippi River. It’s a small ferry and a very interesting experience. I urge you to take a trip yourself. This well done family video from YouTube gives you a feel for what a trip across the ferry is like.

The Cassville Ferry is an Iowa institution. It’s been around for years, but recently they have put in several upgrades in the services. Read more about it:  http://cassville.org/cassville_car_ferry

UPDATED April 27 2018: I fixed the link to the car ferry page and added my current signature block.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls…

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Mansfield, MO – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Have you put Baker Seeds on your itinerary for your trip to Mansfield?

Sarah's Notebook

I just discovered some place else to check out just outside of Mansfield. Baker Creek sells heirloom variety seeds both nationally through a catalog and directly out of their store. Read about it here:

http://rareseeds.com/store/

The store is part of a created country town. From the photos on their website it doesn’t look like it strives for authenticity, but could be a fun place to spend some time. It seems like a more frivilous version of the Seed Savers Farm outside Decorah, Iowa near Burr Oak, which can also be a great additional stop for a Laura fan.

Why Heirloom Seeds Matter

In case you don’t know, most modern seeds are hybrids. Hybrid seed stock is inbred and then crossed. This creates one generation of super seeds, but that generation’s offspring are almost always worthless. You have to buy a new set from the seed company the next year. Previously varieties…

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Truman Home Study Book List

There is just something so intoxicating about seeing a collection of books in someone’s home. You just feel compelled to go over and see what books they have. That’s even more true when you visit a famous person’s house museum. Usually you aren’t allowed to sit down and gordge yourself on seeing what titles they had and what that might tell you about what they knew and what they thought. Normally they are safely kept behind velvet ropes.

Harry S. Truman Rocks!

So in addition to all the other cool things the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site does, (I always point them out as my favorite example on Facebook – always clever, always with an eye on their goal of making you want to visit) it shares out a list of Harry’s books. Not only a complete list, but a list you can get organized either by author or by title.

https://www.nps.gov/hstr/learn/historyculture/truman-home-study-book-list.htm

Just going through the As I see he must have liked Eight Cousins over Little Women (totally agree) and that he must have been an Albert Campion (Margery Allingham’s famed detective) fan. I think I would have enjoyed talking to Harry.

I don’t know why this isn’t done everywhere as a matter of course, but I’m so glad that they know how to do things in Independence!

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.

In the Kitchen With Laura Kerosene Lamps

Beyond Candles

Although making candles is one of the major pioneer crafts that is demonstrated at museums or pioneer events today, as soon as they could people moved on to lamps that were fueled with whale oil, coal oil, and later with kerosene. People did definitely make candles, but mostly in the earlier years of American history, at lower economic levels, or in very isolated frontier areas without a settlement nearby. Lamps were easier to clean than candles, easier to keep functioning, and allowed a cleaner, sharper light. One of the many products once created by whaling was oil for lamps. The entire country ran on whale, but by the mid-19th century that was quickly shifting as the beginning of petroleum products stepped in to many of these uses – at least those that weren’t directly related to food.

Kerosene is Introduced

Robert Edwin Dietz patented the first practical kerosene lamp in 1859, independent of similar work being done in Poland. According to the Dictionary of Energy, “The Dietz Company went on to manufacture hundreds of lantern models, and became a pioneer in the automotive electric lighting industry.” Kerosene was the first useful product from crude oil and is produced by distilling it. Kerosene was where the money was. Gasoline was known during the same time, but didn’t have an immediately apparent use.

Karl and Jean Carrying Kerosene
Karl and Jean Carrying Kerosene

Laura and Kerosene Lamps

Although there is mention of candles in the “Little House” books, kerosene lamps or lanterns are definitely the rule as the series moves on in time. There is a lot of work to keeping a kerosene lamp operating properly and Laura wrote how glad she was that they could be put away in the cupboard in favor of electric lights.

While I was growing up we used to keep a lamp lit every time there was a storm and while I’m just as glad that our generator means no more blackouts, I still miss having a reason to get out the lamp and light it on a fairly regular basis.

Video

For this month’s In the Kitchen With Laura post we’re learning all about how you work and take care of a kerosene lamp.

Sources

These are resources I used for some of the invention details from our library, ask at your local library to ILL it.

“Cracking.” 50 Chemistry Ideas You Really Need to Know, Hayley Birch, Quercus, 2015. Credo Reference, http://resources.kirkwood.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/quechemistry/cracking/0.  Accessed 03 Mar 2017.

“Dietz, Robert Edwin 1818-1897,” Dictionary of Energy, edited by Cleveland, Cutler and Christopher Morris, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2014. Credo Reference, http://resources.kirkwood.edu/login?url=http://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/este/dietz_robert_edwin_1818_1897/0. Accessed 03 Mar 2017.

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.