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

http://wcco.com/local/lake.pepin.monster.2.717605.html

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:
http://www.wildertrailbooks.com/GetPeppyProducts.html

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.
http://www.strolldownmainstreet.com/collections/treats-and-treasures/products/treats-17

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:
http://inaholdingpattern.blogspot.com/2008/05/lake-pepin-monster.html

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.
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/peppy-the-lake-pepin-monster-2/

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
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/267579381.html

Creature, monster, serpent – it’s still a mystery
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/267580161.html

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.

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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, land of the Big Woods, 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.

UPDATED May 4 2018: I did get back in 2011, but I’m once again hoping to get back to Kansas. They are replacing the cabin this year so I hope I’ll make another trip. Since they are in the process of replacing it I thought this would be a great chance to review it. I also added my current signature block.

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.

 

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:

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 were breed and seed saved year to year. Normally a farmer didn’t have to buy seed every year.

Varities today are focused on modern agribusiness goals of:

  1. All maturing at the same time for easy mechanical harvest
  2. Long shelf life
  3. Transporting well
  4. Disease resistent

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. 😉

UPDATED April 13 2018: I added my current signature block, I did some minor editing and changed the formatting.

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.

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.

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/500064.html?nav=5052 

Click or copy and paste in your browser window if you have problems.

Rose Wilder Lane and Laissez Faire Books

Laissez Faire Books has long been the only provider of the only known recording of Rose Wilder Lane’s voice, in the recording made  of an informal speech she gave at the Freedom School. They also provided both the book and audio CD versions of “Discovery of Freedom.” Unfortunately the former management had decided to go out of business and had let quite a bit of their normal stock be depleted. That includes both Rose CD products. They do still have the masters and are going through them and looking at re-introducing more products later. For right now they are continuing with a limited selection. If you want to support their efforts by buying books or get on their e-mail newsletter for updates, view their website, here:

http://www.lfb.org/

Laura Ingalls Wilder Letters

Thanks to the article in the “Pioneer Press” I just received copies of two more Laura letters. That’s bringing up the total I have gotten copies of since I started this project to 16. Please keep passing the word along. One of these letters was dated Feb. 4, 1951 and Laura reports that she received 82 letters that morning. This is a higher number that I have usually seen her report, but I think the closeness of her birthday might have increased the number. You never know what you are going to find it in a letter.  Thank you to everyone who has shared and helped pass word along.

Earthquake!

Early this morning we had an earthquake here in Iowa City. The epicenter was in Illinois so we didn’t get the full effect, but it was enough of a shake in our beds that it woke everyone up. There was a small aftershock this morning. Neither was enough that you were sure it was an earthquake and you have to think what is that and why am I shaking. This was the second one we’ve had in my lifetime. The last one was when I was in high school and I was upstairs and everyone else was outside and didn’t believe we’d had one until the news reported it.

 We don’t often have earthquakes in the Midwest, but we do sometimes. The famous one was out of New Madrid, Missouri when the area was just being settled in 1811-1812. They say it made the Mississippi run backwards and rang church bells in Boston. They keep predicting another big one, but no sign yet. There is a museum to the New Madrid, Missouri today (pronounced Mad – rid, not like the Spanish capitol) which really does a very nice job telling the story. I recommend a visit for anyone in the area. http://www.newmadridmuseum.com/ For Laura fans it’s roughly on the same line of counties as Mansfield and just a couple over.