My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 2 July 15

We pick up with part 2 of Day 3 of the trip.

Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017
Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017

I got some good tweets from Alison and Dean’s program today. This was their second program of the day. I’ve heard them separately before and it was so much better when they were playing back and forth.

Dean & @alisonarngrim @Arngrim on stage together is WAY more fun! #DeSmetevent #littlehouseontheprarie

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I loved this line. There were plenty of kids costumes of TV characters in the 1970s, but I don’t really remember seeing many from any TV non-science fiction TV show lately.

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The crowds were just as big or bigger the second show of the second day.

Another great spillover crowd #littlehouseontheprarie #DeSmetevent @Arngrim

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I didn’t get the movie title in the tweet and checking the IMDB, none of Kurt Russell’s sounded right.

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Dean doing riff on when his character broke up with "Laura" about her taking a job #littlehouseontheprarie

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Doug Hansen did a second show that was equally informative about the wagon.

Hansen Wagon demonstration This is really good #DeSmetevent #lauraingallswilder

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Then we got to listen to some more from Bill and Nancy about the history of De Smet and the Pioneer Girl Project.

Now the good stuff William T Anderson and Nancy Koupal #

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I love this quote from Nancy.

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After the presentations were over I drove over to the roads of Manchester. I wanted to visit again. I hadn’t been there since the memorial went up. The memorial and the town pump are still there. If you don’t know, Manchester was where Grace Ingalls Dow and her husband Nate Dow lived. It’s 6 miles up the road from De Smet. Famed artist Harvey Dunn also was from Manchester. The entire town was swept away in an F4 tornado back in 2003.

The roads of Manchester are what I would call a little better than Level B meaning I wouldn’t drive them in bad weather, but they mostly still good and stable although the houses and businesses are almost all gone – a couple remain right on the edges of the town. I drove the entire matrix of roads that showed up on the GPS. They were all still in good shape except the road on the far western end of the grid. This last loop was in questionable condition. I made it fine with the Jeep, but I don’t know if I’d want to try it in a sedan.

Driving the streets of Manchester SD #Harvey Dunn #tornado #GraceIngallsDow

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Afterwards we considered our options and decided our best bet for supper was the Country Club. I hadn’t eaten there under the new management – they used to be known for their long wait times. It also is off the beaten track with just a small sign off the road that leads you from town south to the cemetery. I figured unfamiliar tourists wouldn’t know to stop here. It was quiet, the service was good, and the food was a bit better than the Oxbow, with the exception of the iced tea which the Oxbow still keeps the coveted best tea in De Smet award. Afterwards figuring that most people would be out at the pageant, I swung back around to get some Surveyor’s House photos. Then back to the hotel and the pool.

The next morning I had a leisurely breakfast and made one last quick swing by the Ingalls Homestead. I forgot to say earlier I had also made a swing by the Loftus Store and the De Smet News. The Loftus Store, besides being a Laura site itself, offers different souvenirs than the other homesites. The De Smet News is where you find all the news in town. I always pay my subscription when I stop, so I have a real piece of business to do in town.

I’ve just got to get back there when there isn’t an event so I can do some everyday stuff. I got to say hi to almost all my friends in De Smet and home that I can make it back there soon.

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.

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My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 1 July 15

Picking up from the end of Day 2.

Doug Hansen and wagon
Doug Hansen and wagon

I skipped the morning presentations and used the time to go out to the Ingalls Homestead. I love spending time out there. I didn’t get out of the visitor center before I found a shareworthy photo. Surfer Dude ponies.

Surfer dude horses. Ingalls Homestead #DeSmetevent

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There were lots of kids having a great time.

Fun at #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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There was a darling colt running free.

Runaway colt #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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I explored the Ingalls Homestead buildings. This is in the barn hayloft.

Did you know there is a stage coach in the barn haymow? #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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My absolute favorite thing to is to ride out on the wagon and sit on the wagon out by the schoolhouse.

Sitting at school in wagon favorite at #ingallshomestead

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Back to town for more speeches.

Tessa Flak, director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in De Smet, introduced the speakers.

Tessa introducing Hansen Wagon shop #DeSmetevent

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One special event was they had Doug Hansen who is an expert wagon builder and restorer explain about the museum’s newly acquired 1880s-1890s farm wagon. He said it was in very good barn find condition and it only took a couple of new pieces to restore it to a working wagon “that could take you to California right now.” He pointed out how it was a working farm wagon and the ways you could convert it into different tools as needed. You could add or take off sideboards to change the size of the wagon or pull the box all together to use it as a lumber or log wagon. He also pointed out how some car parts still take their names from the parts of wagons. One of the most interesting things was that they needed to constantly grease the axles because they didn’t have any bearings. Wagons may seem like they were just thrown together, but they went through as complete engineering process as cars go through today down to what types of wood worked the best for which parts of the wagon.

Doug Hansen talking about learning about wagon

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Doug Hansen master wagon restorer #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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I took some time to check out the other things going on around the park. I got a fresh squeezed lemonade and checked out their crafts including making a corncob doll starting with shelling the corn.

Start corn cob doll by shelling corn! Great idea! #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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There was a representative from the South Dakota School for the Blind helping with Braille activities AND with a display about New York Point because she knew that’s REALLY what Mary would have learned. So many points for them. (New York Point was a raised dot system that developed in America about the time Braille was developed in France. There was a fight over which to use. Learn more in this episode.)

SD school for the Blind in site & smart enough to know Mary learned New York Point #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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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.