Hand Dug Well

One of the most well-known features of the Ingalls farm site outside of Independence, Kansas, is Pa’s hand dug well. In fact it was the existence was one of the ways they narrowed it down to one modern place. Pa’s well might be lost under concrete, but we can see another one and help a Tornado damaged town. See the world’s biggest hand dug well.

Update to website March 20, 2013:
http://www.greensburgks.org/visitors/attractions-activities/big-well-museum-gift-shop

Sarah Uthoff

Summer Reading Cartoon

I found this great cartoon from LM_Net. It’s almost too true to be funny, but still is. I don’t normally read this strip, but I think I might have to start.

http://www.creators.com/comics/speed-bump/5595.html

Update: Although this post was originally published in 2007, the link is still good and cartoon is still just as true and just as funny.

Sarah S. Uthoff is 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 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.

Ann Arbor – Part 2

You can read the summaries of the lectures here. http://www.clements.umich.edu/culinary/lecture_summaries.html – Sadly the descriptions aren’t live and it isn’t in Internet Archive.

in-the-kitchen-2
In the Kitchen with Laur 1930s

I thought the celery information in the Michigan presentation was especially interesting. Larry B. Massie told about how people from the Netherlands were used to growing stuff in swampy ground and draining and reclaiming crop land. They bought small plots of land and grew the labor intensive crop of celery (in the days before self-blanching varieties). He also talked about the use of celery vases on Victorian tables. I think he explained a piece I had seen for a pattern I collect and assumed was an urn with a broken lid.

Ari Weinzweig’s “What’s for Lunch and Why: Artisanal Cheeses in Wisconsin” was very interesting, especially the part about the failure to grow wheat as the main cash crop in Wisconsin. It might help explain why Charles Ingalls left and is worth pursuing.

The lunch for Saturday was very cleverly put together with color coded dots telling you what exactly you were eating. I was very sorry that we had to leave a day earlier than originally planned and that we missed Jane and Michael Stern who didn’t present due to a serious, but not life threatening accident.

It was a unique experience that I enjoyed very much and I encourage those of you with an interest in food history to attend next time.

UPDATED May 12 2017: I undid the link because I can’t find an archive of the page. I added a photo too.

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

Food History Conference in Ann Arbor

For those who wondered what I was doing on that ferry, I was heading to Ann Arbor for the Second Biennial Symposium on American Culinary History: Regional and Ethnic Traditions. 

trading card 2014

Conference website via Internet Archive

It started Friday morning with a trip to Zingerman’s Deli. A place not to be missed, and one I had been looking forward to getting to since my brother shot by it without stopping coming home from ALHFAM at Henry Ford a few years ago. They had a special tasting set up with different cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, etc. We were one of the first to arrive and were escorted upstairs by Ari Weinzweig himself. After that we braved the town’s parking ramp system, and finally found a place we were allowed to legally park. Luckily all of the U of Michigan students we asked for directions over the weekend were very nice and knew their campus. Honestly I live in a college town and THIS paarking was about 100 times worse.

The lectures were in Rackham Auditorium which is a beautiful room that looks something like an alien Senate out of some Sci Fi movie. For a full report and summary of the speakers see the webpage link above. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to add some more highlights tomorrow.

UPDATED May 5 2017: I added several links and fixed the conference website link with Internet Archive. I also added a photo and the current signature block. I added a couple of sentences for clarity.

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

Ferry Ride

I have wanted to try the Express Ferry across Lake Michigan for a long time. I hate to drive through Chicago and this is a way around that.  Today I finally got to. It was the high speed ferry, Express Ferry, between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegeon, Michigan. It took about two hours and was very well organized. It didn’t really save any time, but it was very enjoyable. It was kind of a choppy day and a couple of people felt sick, but I felt fine. Get there early. It was fairly easy to find the terminal to get on. It was more expensive than I was hoping, but I enjoyed it.

http://www.lake-express.com

Sarah Uthoff

Seeking Laura Ingalls Wilder Letters – PR help

I’m trying a free press release news service to try to garner more attention for the project. It will be more likely to be picked up by Google News if it has more individual clicks on it. Please click on the link.

http://www.prlog.org/10016760-seeking-laura-ingalls-wilder-letters.html

Thanks,

Sarah Uthoff 

Decorah in the Spring

Actually it felt more like summer as our weather continued to pendulum back and forth between unusually cold weather and unusually hot. I was driving up to Decorah to give a class, so I was within 10 minutes of Burr Oak, but didn’t actually make it up there. The wonderful restaurant, the Victorian Rose that used to be in the beautifully restored Hotel Winnishiek has closed. I had heard they were cutting it back, but I mean closed as in space now entirely filled by a spa. Luckily just across the street and down a little bit, is a great tea room called Hart’s Tea & Tart’s. I highly recommend it, but it’s only open for lunch and afternoon treats.

You might also notice that several of the nearby counties have gotten on the barn quilt bandwagon. This is a fairly new program where people paint giant quilt squares, get people to hang them on their barns, and then make a tour for people to drive around the county and see them. It’s a nice opportunity to get off the beaten path, but having seen some in several different counties now, some counties definitely do a better job with it than others.

By the way, the class went really well and while we didn’t have that many people, they all drove for some distance to come, including two from Wisconsin.

Sarah Uthoff