Laura Ingalls Wilder Events Around the Country 2019

It’s not always easy to find out about what’s going on for Laura Ingalls Wilder events around the country. I finally decided that current information is probably best posted on a month by month basis so for current information search this site for the name of the month you are looking for and the word event (for example July 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events). Check out the page version of this post which I update with major changes.

Let me know if I’m missing any. Most of these events are annual, but check with the group hosting the event for exact dates for following years.

NOTE: The Little House on the Prairie website uses a more extensive definition of events then I do. So check them out for additional listings. As of February 17, 2019 they hadn’t yet posted their 2019 schedule, but I assume it is in the works.

Blue lake with a tree and grass on shore
Silver Lake October 2018

Pepin WI

Laura Days – September 14-15, 2019
Their big Laura event of the year it includes all manners of celebration of Laura including a Little Miss Laura contest, a regional fiddle contest, activities at the birthplace cabin, historic crafts, and Sarah Uthoff as a keynote speaker. The other keynote this year is Renee Graef.

Open 10 AM – 5 PM DAILY (including weekends & holidays) from May 1st thru Mid-October
Closed for the winter.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 8, 2019 10am-5pm

Summer hours are March 1st to September 1st, everyday 10-5 pm.
Winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10-5 pm. starting in September till November 1st.

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

Museum/Pageant 2018 Brochure

  • July 5-6, 2019
  • July 12-13, 2019
  • July 19-20, 2019

The Little House on the Prairie Cast Reunion is July 12 and 13. Tickets for those nights of the pageant are $35 for Reserved Seats and $33 for General Admission.

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays
July 6, 12-13, and 20, 2019. The festival goes from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer. 

July 11-14, 2019 they will have a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast reunion. They are still under negotiation so no cast list has yet been announced. Watch for more information. Check out my podcasts about my trip to the 2014 Walnut Grove Reunion.

A set up for working flax, flax break, combs etc
Working Flax at Laura Days – Black Cat Farm

Burr Oak IA

Spaghetti Supper InviteFind out more about their events.

Fri., Feb. 22, 2019 5:30 PM · St. Benedict Church Basement, Decorah, Iowa
New Event – Spring Book Sale 2019 – May 4, 2019

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  27, 2019 (Memorial Day) 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  June 21-23, 2019

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale – Date to be Announced – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Birthday Parties can be scheduled by any group at any time.

Season opens May 1

  • Monday-Saturday: 10:00 – 4:00   Last tour 3:00
  • Sunday: Noon – 4:00 Last tour 3:00

Memorial Day – Labor Day

  • Monday-Saturday: 9:00 – 5:00  Last tour 4:00
  • Sunday: Noon – 4:00  Last tour 3:00

Post Labor Day – mid October:        

  • Thursday-Saturday: 10:00 – 4:00  Last tour 3:00 
  • Closed Sunday-Wednesday

De Smet SD

By the Shores of Silver Lake

  • July 5, 6, 2019
  • July 7 – 12, 2019
  • July 13, 14 – 19, 20, 21, 2019

The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. –  August 9, 10, 11, 2019

Memorial Society

  • January-April: Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • May: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    Due to school field-trips our tour times will vary, please call ahead.
  • June-July: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
    Sunday 11:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • August: Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM
  • September: Monday thru Saturday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Closed Sunday
  • October-December: Closed over Christmas week,
    Monday thru Friday 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
    *Tentative tour schedule: 10 AM & 2 PM. Subject to change.

Ingalls Homestead

  • Spring Hours: Last week of April – May 23, Monday – Friday, Hours vary daily as we host school field trips.  It is best to contact us for details.  During our Spring season we are not open on the weekends.
  • Summer Hours: May 25 – September 2, Daily 9AM – 7PM
    Activities are offered from 10AM – 6PM
    The first covered wagon ride leaves around 10AM and the last one leaves at 6PM with rides leaving throughout the day.  We are open seven days a week throughout the summer, including Sundays and Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day.
  • Fall Hours: September 4 – September 30, Daily 9AM – 5PM
    Activities are offered from 11AM – 2PM
  • October 1 – October 31, Daily 9AM – 5PM, weather permitting
    No activities offered, but the grounds, visitors center, and gift shop are open.
  • Winter Hours: The grounds are closed for the winter, but we are still in the office. If you would like to make a camping reservation, request information, or place a phone order, please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email.

behind the barns

Spring Valley MN

  • Annual Meeting – April 7th
  • Spring Teas – May 11th (reservations required)
  • Opening Day – May 25th
  • Ice Cream Social – June 14 5-7 P.M.
  • Eliza Jane School House Days – End of July
  • AG Days Town Celebration – August 15-18
  • Seasonal Closing For Weekdays (Except by Appointment) – September 2nd
  • Seasonal Closing For All Days (Except by Appointment) – October 27th
  • Possible Winter House Tours

Almanzo 100 – Gravel road racing through the beautiful rolling countryside of Fillmore County, NE Iowa and SW Wisconsin – Has moved out of Spring Valley

They aren’t planning on continuing the Christmas Teas.

Other events [ Annual Ice Cream Social, Eliza Jane One Room School Days –Ag Days (town celebration) ] aren’t scheduled yet

Mansfield MO

Note: Recently Mansfield has been scheduling small events without a lot of notice. If this trend continues I will add them to list as soon as I find out about them. This year Mansfield has a theme – A Season With Rose.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Children’s Literature Festival will take place on April 25th and 26th, 2019. It will partner with the author appearance in the Marshfield, Missouri’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

April 28, 2019 “Little House” Cast to gather at the Museum in Mansfield to cut the ribbon on a special exhibit. 2:00pm

May 11, 2019  Justamere Graveyard Workshop [dealing with the cleaning of tombstones]
July 8 – 12, 2019 Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp
July 24 – 28, 2019 Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp

 

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association is excited to announce the addition of “Rocky Ridge Adventure Pioneer Camp” to our 2019 season! The camp will be for children ages (9-12) and we will offer two different weeks, June 24-28 and July 8-12. Camp will cost $50 per child and will include a week of exciting adventures around Rocky Ridge Farm. Campers will enjoy many learning activities, bringing a hands-on perspective to the pioneer lifestyle. This week of adventure will run from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. daily. There will be a special rate of $5 off each registration with 2 children or more. Camp will take place, rain or shine!! Your child will not want to miss this special week of historic fun and memories!!!! Register today and reserve your spot in the first summer camp to take place at Rocky Ridge Farm!! Registration cost includes 5 days of camp, tin cup, badge, book, shirt and a hat (bonnet for girls and coon skin cap for boys). Download the Registration Form here 2019 Camper Registration Form For more information, call 417-924-3626.

August 2, 2019 7:00pm – Sunset Serenade with Pa’s Fiddle
September 20, 2019 – in the Evening: Annual Wilder Benefit Dinner- Special Guest Alison Arngrim – not sure on the time  yet
September 21, 2019 – Wilder Day and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Fiddle Off
November 15, 2019 – Season with Rose comes to an end.
December 7, 2019Christmas with Laura 6:00pm

 

The Ozark Mountain Players has not yet set pageant dates this year, but they always do several shows of Laura’s Memories Pageant during Wilder Days.

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Annual Board Meeting where any member may attend Saturday, January 12, 2019, 9:00am Malone Lodge of the Elks, Elm Street Malone RSVP by farm@almanzowilderfarm.com or 518-483-0774.

Celebration of Youth and Morgan Horse – July 20, 2019

  • Children’s art on display, along with students’ essays. Award ceremony and the announcement of Honorary Laura and Almanzo
  • Kids art activities, 19th century games, vendors, food
  • Entertainment & more!

Annual Cultural Festival– Fete du Quebecois – August 24, 2019

Celebrating the French Canadian heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

Annual Harvest Festival & Civil War Living History Encampment – September 28-29, 2019

  • Civil War living history encampment
  • Pumpkin painting and children’s 19th century game in the orchard, children’s corn pit in the barn,
  • 9th Annual “As Time Passes” adult juried art show on display
  • Entertainment, demonstrators, craft & produce

Sept. 29, 2018 Open extended Sunday hours 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Civil War reenactors living history encampment and one skirmish. Regular admission and guided tours available. Last tour at 3:00 pm.

Christmas with Almanzo  – December 7, 2019

  • Children’s  craft activities
  • Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings, carol singing.

ALL EVENTS AND TIMES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Vinton IA

Tours are not currently available. We are in doubt of future events due to uncertainty of the future of the building.

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s Birthday Party – Date Unknown

William T. Anderson

March 5, 2019 – Marysville Public Library, MI

April 25-27, 2019 – Cherry Blossom Fest, Marshfield, MO, Children’s Lit Fest, Panel with Little House on the Prairie TV show stars

May 30-31, 2019 – Fifth Annual Midwest History Conference, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, MI

American Printing House for the Blind – Louisville, Kentucky

They alternate between a Mary Ingalls party and a Louis Braille party. This year is Mary’s turn. Find out more about their other events.

MARY INGALLS: THE FRONTIER YEARS
Saturday, January 5, 1:00-3:00 pm

“My sister Mary is the reason I am a writer,” said Laura Ingalls Wilder, the celebrated author of the Little House books. Mary lost her sight at the age of fourteen, and Laura became her sister’s eyes, describing the world around her so her sister could “see” as well. Without her sight, Mary was expected to perform her share of the tasks in a frontier family home – housecleaning, cooking, laundry, sewing, looking after children. How did she do that? Our guest exhibitors and presenters are some of our museum friends who are blind or visually impaired. We’ll also sing along with some of Pa’s fiddle tunes, weave a beaded bracelet (the same as those Mary made for her sisters), and celebrate Mary’s birthday with a cake made from Ma’s recipe. Dressing as characters in the Little House books is encouraged. Free to the public but space is limited so registration is required. Call 502-899-2213 or email kcarpenter@aph.org to register. For all ages.

Pomona Public Library – Pomona CA

53nd Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Gingerbread Sociable – Wednesday, February 6, 2019 3:00PM.
There will be a craft and refreshments provided by the Daugthers of Utah Pioneers who’ll talk about life and sponsored by Friends of the Pomona Public Library.

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

In August 2018 Old World Wisconsin announced that they felt people were getting too focused on events (which frankly is a strange reason to give museum/festival events in general are less of a draw than they were even a few years ago so if they said low attendance was while they weren’t scheduling any would make a lot more sense) and so they are focusing more on on-going activities. I think it will probably return eventually as it has disappeared, returned, stretched to over a month, and shrank back to combined with a single event weekend. However, apparently not this year.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

They are not doing a Laura Ingalls Wilder event this year. Last year they said their plan was to have a Laura event every other year going forward. This would be the year and they don’t have one scheduled. They are working on their 2020 schedule and are considering a prairie days event, but an inquiry brought the response that so far nothing is decided.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

This year they won’t be having Wilder Weekend they are replacing it with “Novel weekend – Lewis Carroll.”

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – Sunday, September 1, 2019 2pm
Sarah S. Uthoff

Colt on Ingalls Homestead
Colt on Ingalls Homestead

National Cowgirl Museum – Fort Worth, Texas

The National Cowgirl Museum previously had held an annual event, but stopped having it. They brought it back for the 150th as a one shot. This year they are closing for a remodel for February and March and don’t seem to have any events scheduled so far.

Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival – Marshfield, Missouri

Reunion of the TV show castFull Festival Schedule – April 25-27, 2019

UPDATED March 5 2019: I added the Spring Valley dates.

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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Ep 100 Laura Ingalls Wilder Fandom Roundup 2018

Sarah by Ma's House - Ingalls Homestead
Sarah by Ma’s House – Ingalls Homestead

I FINALLY got another episode done on the podcast. This one is rounds up all the news of what happened in Laura Ingalls Wilder fandom this year.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2019/02/26/ep-100-laura-ingalls-wilder-fandom-roundup-2018

A small group stripped Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name off the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

Independence has built a new cabin, replacing the original.

We now have china shepherdess replicas available again. Pick from Independence, KS; Mansfield, MO; Walnut Grove, MN.

Pioneer Girl released as ebook by South Dakota State Historical Society Press.

Alison Arngrim (NBC TV show’s Nellie Oleson) is doing a positive news interview show on Facebook.

Walnut Grove, Minnesota was hit hard by the July 2018 flood.

Queen’s Treasure introduced a Mary Ingalls doll.

American Writers Museum opened with a Laura Ingalls Wilder exhibit in their temporary hall. It was extended from an original closing date in March to June.

The Iowa School for the Blind was combined with the School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. They’re still unsure about what’s going to happen to the buildings and the Mary Ingalls Society.

The museum in Mansfield, MO has extended its connection to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, MO. They added a luncheon to fund raise for the museum. Unfortunately a fire alarm went off during it for about 10 minutes.

I took a trip to DeSmet in the fall, but didn’t give them enough warning to get inside photos at the Memorial Society, but had a great trip anyway.

There was a new edition of the Little House Cookbook.

Also check out things released this year in the Christmas shopping guide and our list of 2018 events.

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.

De Smet South Dakota by the Bush Foundation

Ward's Store 2017
Ward’s Store 2017

The De Smet Community Foundation received a 2016 grant as a recipent of a Bush Prize. This year they came to town and made a video about what made De Smet stand out as a winner. It’s a different look at the town from a non-Laura prespective, including some aerial shots. Keep an eye out though, there are a few of our Laura friends in there 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 on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2017

Whether you are looking for the perfect present for the Laura Ingalls Wilder fan in your life or just what you want to know what to put on your Christmas want list, check out these suggestions.

This is the seventh year I’ve put together a shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. Read that first and use this post to look for new items, other ideas, and a list of which Laura homesites are offering Christmas mail order and the cut off dates for shipping by Christmas this year. Trundlebed Tales encourages you to do at least a little Christmas shopping from the Laura homesites because they are all local museums, highly dependent on admissions and gift shop revenue to stay open and preserve the homesites for Laura fans, so do your part.

If your favorite Laura fan is planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. The tickets are available for 2018 already and the earlier you buy tickets the better seats you can get. They mail them so you can get the tickets to go under the tree. Buy them either online or by phone if you want their advice for which seat. The phone goes into a business so you can always find someone there during business hours. (Note: I don’t advise pre-buying for the other pageants because differences in how their systems work.)

De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 3
De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt

Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , and 2016 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

And don’t forget you can also get your Laura fan gift memberships to the museums or a donation in your Laura fan’s name!

What’s Not Available

I’m going to take a minute first and tell you some things that you aren’t able to get because there was expectation you would be able to get them. For the past 3 years the homesites have worked together to create a calendar with photos from all the sites. Unfortunately when I checked with the De Smet Memorial Society who makes them up, they’ve given up on doing one for 2018, but look for the 2019 one sometime this spring.

Also, this fall I was shocked when I checked with all the homesites and discovered in the last year we’ve gone from 3 versions of the china shepherdess replicas available to 0. Hopefully, at least 1 version will be available sometime next year (a couple of the homesites have a new version in the works), but for now your only choice is keeping an eye out for one second hand.

150th Birthday Items

150th Magnet – Photo Courtesy of Mansfield

With this being the 150th anniversary of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s birth, check out some of the unique things offered for the anniversary. There are special limited edition t-shirts from both De Smet and Walnut Grove. (Walnut Grove had a double reason to celebrate with the 40th anniversary of their pageant.) De Smet also came out with an updated and expanded 60th anniversary edition of The Ingalls Family of De Smet. There is a special china ornament from De Smet featuring a bust of an older Laura wearing her red velvet dress. Mansfield has created a special limited edition magnet from Mansfield with a middle-aged Laura’s image and a 150th anniversary slogan.

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt

HarperCollins

HarperCollins released a new edition of the first 3 books in the series. This edition is hardback, features matching covers, no illustrations, and an introductory essay by a famous person; Laura Bush, Little House in the Big Woods; Ree Drummond, Farmer Boy; and Patricia MacLachlan, Little House on the Prairie. I’m saving them to buy at one of my next homesite visits so I haven’t seen them myself, but the reviewer at Horn Book Magazine is pretty scathing about them urging people to buy the standard Garth Williams illustrated version instead.

Happily in honor of Laura’s birthday, HarperCollins released the audiobooks, as recorded by Cherry Jones, as digital downloads for the first time. Slowly throughout the year they’ve been re-releasing the simplified chapter books, such as The Adventures of Laura and Jack or the most appropriate Christmas Stories, with brand new covers. Six of the simplified picturebooks, illustrated by Renee Graef, are newly collected and published as one volume. It’s called a Little House Picture Book Treasury. Finally, they also put out The Little House Book of Wisdom, a collection of quotes from the series.

Quilt Discovery – Doves in the Window

One of the things I’m most excited about is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Wedding Quilt by Linda Halpin. Halpin has braved the untamed jungle that is quilt pattern names and makes a strong case that this is the pattern Laura calls “Doves in the Window” thought to be the one Laura made for her Wedding Quilt. It includes instructions for making the quilt pattern pictured here. Linda Halpin is also the author of Quilting with Laura: Patterns Inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie Series. Check out her interviews on the Trundlebed Tales podcasts about Doves in the Window and on quilts in the 19th century in general. You can get the pattern directly from her website, from Burr Oak (who has the original square that kicked off her search), and possibly from other homesites – ask.

While we are talking about crafts The Little House Coloring Book, a publication that takes into account the surge in adult coloring has been a big hit. It’s based on Garth Williams illustrations at any of the giftshops. There is also a great coloring book based on illustrations by Cheryl Harness is available at most homesites. See some sample pages.

South Dakota Historical Society Press

You’ll remember that when the SDHSP released Pioneer Girl in November 2014 a frenzy broke out as underestimated demand meant that even pre-published purchased copies from Amazon were months late and it found a long term spot on the bestseller list. With such intense interest, it’s no wonder that they’re planning on following up with a three volume set of scholarship about Pioneer Girl. The first volume was released this last April, Pioneer Girl Perspectives. It is be available from either the South Dakota State Historical Society or any of the homesites.

In honor of Laura’s 150th birthday and the release of Pioneer Girl Perspectives the South Dakota Historical Society Press  held a conference in April. If you couldn’t go they have released a set of DVDs of the conference. I’m grateful that they did so we have a record of the sessions and I think that any serious scholar or anyone who wanted to go to the conference and didn’t get to will want a copy. However, be forewarned that the sound quality is bad. Basically they set up a camera and let it roll using the ambient sound in the room.

Some Homesite Highlights

Pepin didn’t report anything new, but my favorite thing is a green and white throw. It has images from the books including the Pepin replica cabin, Pa’s fiddle, and a bonnet. I won mine in the Laura Days essay contest, but you can buy and love one.

Little House on the Prairie Ornament – Photo courtesy of Little House on the Prairie Museum

If you haven’t checked out the Little House on the Prairie Museum online store yet, poke around. They have a wide variety of possible presents including tote bags, candles, and coffee. I haven’t gotten one yet, but they have a variety of styles of shirts with their logo including tanks which are hard to find in Laura shirts. The most Kansas thing is a poster that I NEED a copy of called “The Yellow Brick Road” with a covered wagon following a path of yellow flowers across the prairie. Besides Laura, Kansas also claims a connection with Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum (“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”) hence the yellow “brick” road. They have a set of china Christmas tree ornaments each with a colorized image from the Helen Sewell books, one per book.

I’ve heard Walnut Grove called the homesite with the best gift shop and it is a very nice facility with a bunch of options. Although the grounds close for the season, the gift shop/visitor center is open all year. They have more things available than shown on their website so if you are looking for something in particular or want something you don’t see on the website, call them and talk. Aprons, bonnets, and dresses continue to be popular and they have a great selection. They also have a lot of the Queen’s Treasures collection of dolls and accessories. To have a memory of Walnut Grove on your tree check out their wood ornament.

Besides the quilt pattern I mentioned above, Burr Oak has Laura t-shirts featuring the hotel in bright primary colors to make a splash in your Laura shirt. They are the place to get The Iowa Story: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life in Burr Oak, Iowa by William T. Anderson. They also keep a stock of Old Town in the Green Groves by Cynthia Rylant which knowing Rylant’s other work should be much, much better than it is and takes a stab at fictionalizing the time missing out of the series when they lived in Burr Oak. (Spoiler: Pa suddenly starts calling Mary Pumpkin Pie — yep.)

The Memorial Society in De Smet has several new items this year. Besides the new edition of The Ingalls Family of De Smet and the t-shirt, I mentioned above, they have an exclusive cookie cutter shaped like the Surveyor’s House. In addition to the new china ornament with the older Laura in red velvet (which I just HAD to buy back in July), they have a complete set of the ornaments each one featuring a colorized Garth Williams’s illustrations from each book in the series. The older Laura one isn’t showing on their website, but give them a call.

Covered Wagon Ornament
Ornament Photo courtesy of The Ingalls Homestead

The Ingalls Homestead, who developed the idea of wood crates to create a box set for the hardcover books, also has a wide range of products and some great news about shipping. They have free shipping for all orders over $25 this year through December 13. They also have rolled out digital gift cards for the first time. Use them online or over the phone for onsite purchases. Associate the Homestead with the covered wagon rides? They have a beautiful ornament of a covered wagon. (Yep, I got one of these on this last trip too.) Remember how excited Laura was about her Santa Christmas presents she got from Mr. Edwards? At the Homestead you can order tin cups with two sticks of peppermint, the heart shaped cakes and even a penny! A unique gift is squares of Ingalls Homestead homemade soap. They also have a wide selection non-Laura books of prairie/pioneer related subjects.

Harvey Dunn, nephew by marriage of Grace Ingalls and internationally known artist and illustrator, is best known for his connection with Manchester, the next town west of De Smet. The South Dakota Art Museum houses the largest collection of Dunn’s work. (It’s well worth your effort to stop in Brookings on your way to or from De Smet.) They have just released a reprint of Where Your Heart Is: The Story of Harvey Dunn, Artist. This current edition is available exclusively from the South Dakota Art Museum store.

Spring Valley is a smaller site, but they work on having unique things in their giftshop. One area they have a big selection in is the American Girl aka 18 inch size doll clothes. They are locally made and not mass produced. Colors may vary.

Doll Clothes from Spring Valley

Besides the 150th magnet, Mansfield has several other cool magnets look at all of them. They have a couple of unique things that feature the Rocky Ridge farmhouse including a snow globe and a frame. They have also have boxed sets of the hardbacks in wooden boxes.

In Malone/Burke, New York, they’ve also redone their website. Check out the Mason Jar style mug with Almanzo’s name, their selection of mugs, and cachet hand painted envelopes. If your Laura fan doesn’t yet have the DVD documentary Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura. It was produced by Dean Butler (Almanzo on the TV show) and is either a great keepsake or a tour if you haven’t been to the farmstead. They also have a lovely print called “Coming Home” with the Wilder farmhouse and a sleigh. I have a copy.

 

I recommend contacting the sites by e-mail or online store instead of by phone, except where noted. Even places that have been easiest to contact by phone in the past I’ve had trouble calling, but most responded quickly by e-mail.

Independence KS

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Online Store

Last Day for Priority Mail – They didn’t give me a date, use your own judgment.

Walnut Grove MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-800-528-7280
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2017

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 18, 2017

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594

Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2017

Loftus Store Online
Phone: 605-854-3773 Call to order

Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date use your own judgment

Mansfield MO

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum
Online Store
Phone 1-877-924-7126 (Toll free)
Last Day for Priority – December 19, 2017

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com

Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Spring Valley MN

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum (Store not online)
wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com
Recommends using e-mail to order for Christmas, but you may want to include your phone number in the e-mail so they can get back to you with questions quickly.
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

The best way for people to shop during the winter is through the website gift shop and then pay through Paypal. You can email the museum with questions. They are no longer accepting checks for orders because of some bad check incidents.

Pepin WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Online Store
Best to order online, but can also reach by phone 715-513-6383, or by sending a letter. Neither museum nor gift shop is open during the winter.

Last Day for Priority – December 18, 2017

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

Laura Ingalls Wilder 2017 Season Ends

October usually is about the end of the main Laura Ingalls Wilder season for the year. If you plan a Laura trip during or after October, make sure you call ahead. They may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see. On the plus side you get autumn foliage and then snow photos. I called around to find out when the Laura museums were officially closing for the year. Find contact information for the homesites/museums here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/laura-links/

The last few years I’ve been so late on it I’ve combined it with my Christmas event list. This year it will be coming later as a separate post.

Family members surrounding Tour Sign
Family in De Smet

Pepin, WI – Closed for the season Oct. 15, 2017.

Independence, KS – They closed for the season November 1, 2017.

Walnut Grove, MN – Museum grounds closed for the season November 1, 2017, but their Gift Shop/Visitor Center will remain open during November and December 23, 2017 from 10 am – 4 pm, Monday – Saturday.
Ticket sales for the 2018 pageant begin November 1, 2017. 1-888-859-3102.

Burr Oak, IA – Closed October 21, 2017. After Labor Day they are only open Thursday- Saturdays 10-4 with no tours after 3:00pm.

De Smet, SD –
Memorial Society – open all year with slightly reduced hours during winter, MondayFriday 9 am -4 pm.  They suggest tour times at 10:00am and 2:00pm.
Hours Chart

Ingalls Homestead – Open depending on the weather through October and then closed at the end of October 31, 2017. Office remains open for making reservations, etc. Call and leave a message if they don’t pick up. Scheduled activities only take place through September 30, 2017. People are welcome to walk around even after they are closed for the year. Look for maps in plastic holders beside visitor center/gift shop doors.

Mansfield, MO – Season ends November 15, 2017.
Will reopen for one day for their Christmas event December 3, 2017.

Malone, NY – Closed October 1, 2017. Can arrange tours by appointment if volunteers available through October. Minimum admission is $25 for three or less. Four or more admitted at regular price. Arrange by e-mailing farm@almanzowilderfarm.com Re-opens for Christmas With Almanzo event (1 Day) December 2, 2017 11:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Spring Valley, MN – They are open everyday till Sept. 4, 2017. Then they are only open weekends (Sat. and Sun.) in Sept. and Oct. Last day of the season will be Oct. 29th. but they reopen for Christmas teas. Christmas Teas will be Dec. 2-3, 2017. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. For more information contact the museum at wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com

Keystone, SD – Closed September 15, 2017.

Vinton, IA – Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School gave me this advice.
Justin Ruegg
319-472-5221, Extension 1226
jruegg@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us
Pat Barr
319-472-5221, Extension 1110
pbarr@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us
We are open for tours Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Each tour takes 1-1/2 to two hours.  Wheelchairs are available.  There is no place that we go on the tour that a wheelchair cannot go.  If needed, tours may be given on Saturday or Sunday.

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

Photo Policy Change in De Smet

Sarah holding Little House book on the cement porch in front of Surveyor's House
Sarah Outside Surveyor’s House

Then You Couldn’t

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society has had a long standing policy of no photos inside the buildings. The Surveyor’s House, the Third Street House, and the Visitor Center/Museum were all no goes. It was strictly enforced. In fact, one time I got told not to take notes with a digital recorder. When I went in June we were still strictly told NOT to take any photos. The only exceptions being the inside of both the original and replica schools.

This used to be a standard rule in  most museums because they wanted to keep control of images taken there to make sure they weren’t used in a way they’d object to and to encourage you to buy slides and postcards, etc. from their gift shop. There was also a belief that flash photography increased the fading of artifacts inside. Research done by Kodak has shown that was not the case. Slowly now museums, as they want the free advertising of social media, are lifting these restrictions. Where they remain in place, please honor them.

Now You Can

Starting midway through the summer I saw posts of photos from De Smet start coming through my feed. At first I thought maybe it was a special waiver for the anniversary celebration, so I checked with them to get an official response AND I can now officially say the policy changed part way through the season. Photos are now welcome inside all the houses. They didn’t give me an official policy when I e-mailed, but I assume they have one. Ask if you intend to do anything more with the photos than personal use or a short social media post.

Reason to Go Back

So if you were looking for an excuse to plan a trip back to De Smet NOW you have a good reason! I wish I’d have known when I was there for the event in July, but I’d just taken the tour in June so I didn’t go. I would have if I’d have known. I’ll have to be back soon and I hope you will too.

UPDATED September 19 2017: From Museum Director Tessa Flak This summer the Society has started to allow visitors to take pictures inside the museum buildings for personal use only, however, we ask you not to film anything. Also, we don’t allow visitors to take pictures in our exhibit. Please contact the Society if you plan to use our photos for more then personal use. Thank you all for understanding.” I removed references to video from this post after she made this comment on Facebook. The comment is added here with her permission.

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

T-Shirt of the Month September 2017

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Clothes are one of those things that I once kept as a firm line not to cross as part of my efforts to restrict my Laura collection to a reasonable size. That totally failed when I discovered how great it is to have a Laura t-shirt on when traveling. It really makes it feel like your trip has already started once you get in your car.

Shirt of the Month

Here is this month’s t-shirt:

De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 1
De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt Front

Back of the t-shirt

De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 2
De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt Back

This time’s shirt is part of a limited edition from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet, South Dakota. This shirt is just offered this year as part of the celebration of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s 150th birthday. There was also a special limited edition shirt at Walnut Grove this year. These are always a fun addition to a t-shirt collection.

Close up of cake

De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 3
De Smet 150th Anniversary T-Shirt 3

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