Wilder Letters 14 and 15

I checked my mail and there was not one, but TWO copies of letters from Laura Ingalls Wilder for the Walnut Grove archive. One was from my friends at the Audubon Public Library (home of Albert the Bull) and the other came from Mary in Vinton.  Each had something of interest.

The Audubon letter was to a Miss Janey (a one-room school teacher) and was dated June 6th, 1952. Included was this paragraph:

“I am sorry to have missed your visit. When next you visit Seymour come see me for a few minutes.”

An actual invitation to visit is not something that has shown up before in the letters I collected.

Mary’s letter was dated Sept. 5th, 1952. It includes the following answer I hadn’t seen before. Ruth Wahlert who wrote the letter must have asked about Rose.

“My daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was born in South Dakota on our farm near De Smet.” I think Laura was pleased to be asked about her.

 Please keep the word going and those letters coming in.


2 New Articles about Rose Wilder Lane in Ebsco

Take a look. They will be added to my Rose Wilder Lane informational page soon.  You will have to log into an EBSCO account (most public libraries have them and can give you your password) to read them.

Cautionary tale from the ’40s still rings true. By: Johnson, Johna Till. Network World, 1/28/2008, Vol. 25 Issue 4, p24-24, 1/2p; (AN 30064392)

Isabel Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Zora Neale Hurston on War, Race, the State, and Liberty. By: Beito, David T.; Beito, Linda Royster. Independent Review, Spring2008, Vol. 12 Issue 4, p553-573, 21p; (AN 31659677)

Country School Conference of America Registration

Just passing along a little reminder from their board. 😉

For more information about one-room schools see their website or mine. 😉

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

This is just a reminder that Tuesday May 20th is the registration deadline for this years Country School Association Conference at Miami University of Ohio, in Oxford, Ohio.  That is less than two weeks away, so please try to make time in your schedule to do it soon.  A late registration fee applies after that date.

Will we see you at the CSAA Conference? The 8th Annual CSAA Conference on Country Schools will be held June 16-18, 2008 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Take part in the quality programming offered by dedicated country school academics, researchers and re-enactors.  As a highlight of the conference, visit the William Holmes McGuffey Museum and visit some Butler County country schools on the optional Wednesday bus tour. 

Access the information and registration packet using the link below.

Richard Lewis

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.


 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: http://www.widlertrailbooks.com

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 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.