Mansfield in the News

A couple of articles have appeared about Mansfield lately in the news.

First, the “Salt Lake City Desert News” named Mansfield as one of their places you should visit this summer list.,5143,695276994,00.html

 Second the heirloom seed place near Mansfield that I recently posted about is described in a first hand article. Read all about it and decide if you’d like to go.


Rose Wilder Lane Books – More in print

Good news Rose Wilder Lane fans who have been hunting used book stores online and in person for her books. Four titles have been brought back by Kessinger Publishing. These are reprints on the cheap basically photocopies of originals bound softback, but they are allowing you to buy new copies of Rose’s work, what’s not to like about that. Go to

Search for Rose Wilder Lane
I just ordered two of them on Amazon.
I'll let you know when I get them.

Peppy – the Lake Pepin Monster

Its only connection with Laura is its location, but Dakota Girl Cheryl Whitlock just pointed out an article providing information about Peppy, the Lake Pepin monster first spotted in 1871 and offering a reward.

Lake Pepin from boat
Lake Pepin from boat

Pepin isn’t about to let Lake City take the title of Peppy’s home. Read more about Peppy including how to get your own Peppy shirts and mugs. You too can take part in creating a myth.

Read more about Peppy or Peppi here:

And buy your own Peppy mug and shirt here:

UPDATE: A lot has changed since I made this first post. Sadly Wilder Books (which I thought had great potential) has closed down. You can no longer get the Peppy Products I originally linked to, although I’ve left the link in the original post. You can still get a Pepie, the Lake Monster T-shirt of your own.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the level of interest in Peppy or Pepie or several other spelling variations. Read about the various versions of the name, along with a local’s report here:

This post is one of the top 10 post for views of all time. It’s such a popular subject that I returned to it again earlier this year where I covered Pepie getting his own homepage.

The reward still seems good. Have you ever seen something strange in Lake Pepin?

UPDATE 2014: In July 2014, The Star Tribune published a couple of articles on Peppy.

Lake Pepin’s rumored creature may be folklore come to life

Creature, monster, serpent – it’s still a mystery

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 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.

Indepedence, Kansas Update

Unfortunately, it’s been almost 10 years now since my last trip to Independence. I hope to get back there soon. These photos are from my last trip. Just seeing their great signage on the way to the site makes you smile.

Little House Sign Director Amy Finney has been making positive changes.  This  year they are unveiling a new attraction, you’ll be able to dress up and get your photo taken and a digital print in sepia. It sounds like fun.

Indepedence SignAmy is also trying to get more smaller events at the site. I don’t have a schedule yet, but they recently held kite day where visitors were encouraged to hand make and fly paper kites. They are also planning a summer class of “Prairie Girls”using the book “Prairie Girls Guide to Life” by Jennifer Worick.  According to Amy, “They will do the “whole nine yards” – tea party, ice cream, embroidery, braid rugs,quilt and of course dress up photos.”

Indepedence Cabin My biggest complaint about the site is the irony. In Pepin you have to struggle to get trees in the photo with the cabin, but out on the prairie in Independence just try to get a photo of the cabin without them.

Mansfield, MO – Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

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:

The store seems to be 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.

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 generations offsprings are almost always worthless. You have to buy a new set from the seed company the next year. Previously varieties were breed and seed saved year to year. These varieties were breed for characteristics outside the modern goals of 1) all maturing at the same time for easy mechanical harvest 2) long shelf life and 3) transporting well. You’ll notice flavor, variety, multiple maturation dates for a long harvest and adaption to localized climates and soil types aren’t on that list. Desire to recapture some of those characteristics and to keep alive more than just the handful of varieties of each product have caused a movement to grow and harvest seed from heirloom varieties. Baker Creek is one place that does that. I haven’t ordered from them yet, but a friend’s brother has had nothing but good experiences with them. I think they might be worth an hour or two on your trip. They are going on my list of things to do next time I head south. 😉

New Article Almanzo Wilder Farm Event

Here’s a fresh off the presses article about the big event in Malone. I wish I could me there. It also includes a date for this year’s harvest fest celebration, the first place I’ve seen it posted. 

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