Anderson House 2017

Unlike some other Laura homesite towns, Pepin, Wisconsin, can boast two motels and assorted bed and breakfasts, so you may not want to look elsewhere. However, if the Laura stop is just part of your visit and you’re looking for a place to enjoy the views and relax you may consider staying in the next big town to the south, right on the other side of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. There are a variety of places to stay in Wabasha (setting of the movie Grumpy Old Men) including a chain motel with a pool, but if you want something with a little more old world charm Anderson House might be right for you.anderson-hotel-by-permission3

Rich Heritage

Anderson House was built in 1856 as a hotel. It was the kind of hotel that even within living memory had the bathroom down the hall. This was the kind of hotel that Laura and Almanzo on their car trips might have stayed in. It was that kind of place full of period charm. It’s featured in both editions of The Little House Guidebook by William T. Anderson. One feature that it was especially known for was checking out cats for you to have in your room for the duration of your visit. It was even the subject of a picture book. How many places do you stay can say that? I’m glad I got to stay there twice during this period. Sadly it was no longer a sustainable model and with the economic downturn it closed its doors in 2009Anderson Hotel Ext

Fresh Start

In 2011 the historic hotel was given a fresh start when it was purchased by local business owners, underwent some remodeling and reopened to the public. Sadly the restaurant is no longer part of the business, but an expanded retail space and conference style meeting area is.

anderson-hotel-by-permission1

Plan Your Visit

Anderson House is now part of a larger conglomeration of various properties to stay in near Lake Pepin.

http://eaglesontheriver.com/lodging

According to their website: “The Historic Anderson House Hotel is a great place for a large family reunion and/or weddings. The staff has worked with large groups helping them get the right place to stay.” It’s right downtown in Historic Wabasha about a block from the Mississippi River. Even if you don’t plan to stay you can check out their giftshop for unique souvenirs of the area.

It is important to note that the guest rooms are on the second and third floors and an elevator is one update they haven’t made.  Be prepared to carry your luggage up steps.

All rooms now have their own private bathroom, central heat and a/c, and flatscreen TVs with expanded cable. Free wifi is offered throughout the hotel and rooms come with a complimentary breakfast. Some rooms even have whirlpool tubs and there are levels of rooms similar to a bed and breakfast. So personally I recommend calling when you make a reservation to make sure you are aware of and pick the right options for you.
Because tourism is rather seasonal there in the SE corner of Minnesota, the hotel is open from the last weekend in February to the first of November and closed over the winter months.
 anderson-hotel-by-permission2

Reservations

To make a reservation call 800-482-8188 or 651-565-3509 or book your room online.

Website
http://eaglesontheriver.com/lodging/historic-anderson-house-hotel

Online Reservations
http://eaglesontheriver.com/reservations

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.

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One More On the Way: Niland Cafe

I’ve posted about the famous Lincoln Highway (now roughly followed by US 30) before, but it wasn’t more than a few years ago that I learned there was a Jefferson Highway (now roughly followed by US 69) too that went north-south. (The Lincoln Highway goes east-west.) The Jefferson Highway had the advantage of a neat nickname. It was known as Pine to Palm. Where these two once mighty roads cross is the little town of Colo, Iowa.

colo-hamburger

Bypassed For Bigger Roads

Much like Route 66, in the dilemma depicted in Cars, towns that once made their living off travelers stopping found themselves drying up as they were bypassed and larger and newer restaurants, gas stations, etc were built to cater to the interstate traveler. These Lincoln Highway gas stations establishments were actually small garages – where they could fix cars as well as pump gas – despite being a lot smaller than those we know today.  They had a porch extending out from the building and usually featured those globe top gas pumps that are prized by collectors today. (Those globes lit up and helped guide motorists in at night before the days when it was always as light as daylight by a gas station.) One famous manufacturer of the pumps was the Tolkheim company that designed all sorts of pumps for various purposes right here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – visit a display on them at Ushers Ferry Historic Village.

The Mom and Pop Cafe

lincoln-and-jeffersonNearby was often a mom and pop style cafe and sometimes the type of motel that was small individual cabins. You will sometimes see these buildings still there or preserved as museums or rotting by the side of the road. It’s much rarer to find one up and working. There is the Youngsville Cafe near the turn off 30 to Vinton, Iowa, but this is the only example I know of where you can actually eat in the real cafe (now themed with Lincoln and Jefferson Highway artifacts) AND stay in the real hotel. The gas station is just a regular type museum that displays artifacts from the two roads that you can view from the outside.

The pole above is inside the restaurant. It dates to a time before roadsigns when highways were designated by painting on telegraph, telephone, or electrical poles whichever were close to the road. The L is the symbol for the Lincoln Highway and the JH symbol is for the Jefferson Highway.

Cabin Type Motel to Stay In

This motel isn’t QUITE that old. This version of the motel was built in the 1940s as one of the first “modern” motels in Iowa which basically meant the cabins were smashed together in a row sharing interior walls. Six units were restored to resemble the 1940s period in 2008, except with updates like bathrooms, wireless access, cable and self-controlled heating and cooling.

Reed/Niland Cafe

Named for two sets of owners, Reed/Niland Corner was originally started in the 1920s. In 2003 it was restored to the 1940s and serves a roughly 1940s style menu. They advertise “hot beef sandwiches, ham and bean soup with corn muffin and homemade pies.” Plus milkshakes from a real milkshake machine.

http://www.reednilandcorner.org

I’ve stopped there twice and eaten there once. It’s worth a stop, especially if you’re tracing one of the routes or if you’re passing nearby on the modern Highway 30.

If you’ve read  A Little House Traveler, these are the types of places where Laura and Almanzo would have stopped on their journeys, so try it for yourself.

**I will note that service was not great at the cafe when we were there. They were understaffed. I understand that, but we were not offered any of the apologies that servers normally give to customers in that situation (we were there before a large group came in and only got a chance to order well after them). In fact, we were pretty much ignored for long stretches of time. I had to get up and walk over to the waitress for her to take our order. After we finished we had to wait a long time for the check even after hunting down the waitress again to ask for it until finally we gave up and asked at the cash register to get our bill. I have not had anyone else I’ve talked to about the cafe who had had this kind of experience, so we probably just caught them on a bad day, but I thought it was fair to say.

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.

Trip to DeSmet 2016 Day 2 Part 2

This is my fourth report from the my July 2016 DeSmet, South Dakota trip. This time I shared it on Twitter. The photos are links instead of showing full because I use Instagram so I can cross share it easily across multiple platforms.
See all the trip photos in one place
https://www.instagram.com/sarahsuthoff/

Baby Horse Ingalls Homestead 2016
Baby Horse Ingalls Homestead 2016

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

Trip to DeSmet 2016 Day 1 Part 2

Following my Laura Ingalls Wilder trip this year. Here’s the second part of Day 1.

Surveyors House July16

Tweets Batch 2

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

July 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

This is the big one. The biggest Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite events go on in July and the most different events go on then. It really makes you wish Laura had been born in July instead of February. I hope you have some travel plans made because as always they have some great stuff lined up.

Sod House Replica Walnut Grove MN
Sod House Replica Walnut Grove MN

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

  • July 8-9, 2016
  • July 15-16, 2016
  • July 22-23, 2016

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays July 9, July 16, and July 23, 2016
11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer.

William T. Anderson, Laura Ingalls Wilder expert extraordinaire, will be returning to Walnut Grove on July 8-10, 2016. He’ll be speaking on the 9th and will be signing both days. It will be well worth a trip. Anderson is the editor of the recent book, The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Karen Grassle (Caroline Ingalls) will return to Walnut Grove on July 16 & 17, 2016 to visit with fans during our annual Wilder Pageant weekend. The schedule will include autograph sessions on Saturday, an evening speaking engagement prior to the Wilder Pageant performance on the 16th and a photo & autograph session on Sunday.

Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle) will return to Walnut Grove during July 8-10, 2016. Stewart will be speaking in the City Park, Autographing her Tote Bags AND her NEW Book to be released in June. Once Walnut Grove has more details on her visit and the new Book they will post it on their website for advance orders.

De Smet SD

The Long Winter

  • July 8-10, 2016 – I’ll be presenting the Pioneer version of In the Kitchen With Laura this Saturday at the Ingalls Homestead.

  • July 15-17, 2016

  • July 22-24, 2016

Pageant Selection for 2017 – Little Town on the Prairie

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Eliza Jane School Days – July 25-26 & 28-29 2016

Mansfield MO

Laura’s Memories Pageant

Evening (7:30 pm) Performance Dates (rain or shine):

  • July 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, 2016

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Celebration of Youth – Saturday, July 30, 2016 10 am-4 pm

  • Children’s art show will be on display, along with student essays. Award ceremony.
  • Kids art activities, 19th century games, vendors, food available.
  • Morgan horses from Wm. H. Miner Institute

    Cosmos at Ingalls Homestead
    Cosmos at Ingalls Homestead

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

World of Little House – July 16 – August 7, 2016 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/calendar/event/4466/the-world-of-little-house

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

July 16 & 17, 2016 – Watch their website for more details. Heritage Hill has long held an annual Laura Ingalls Wilder event and confirmed it will return this year.

Vinton IA

This is in August, but I wanted to include it so you wouldn’t miss it when you turn the calendar.

Mary Ingalls Society Pageant – August 5, 6, and 7 2016. The 7th will be a Sunday Maintee.

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.

July 2015 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

July and September tend to have the biggest number of Laura Ingalls Wilder events. Here are the ones I’ve pulled together for this month. I’ve also thrown in a couple of Aug. 1st or 2nd dates so they don’t sneak up on you.

Sarah Uthoff at Walnut Grove Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
Sarah Uthoff at Walnut Grove Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

  • July 10-11
  • July 17-18
  • July 24-25

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays July 11, July 18, and July 25, 2015
11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details.

De Smet SD

By the Shores of Silver Lake

  • July 10-12
  • July 17-19
  • July 24-26

Spring Valley MN

Eliza Jane School Days July -The 27-28 and 30-31, 2015

Mansfield MO

Laura’s Memories Pageant

Evening (7:30 pm) Performance Dates (rain or shine):

  • July 17-18, 24-25, 31, Aug. 1 – There are more dates later in the Summer.

Malone/Burke NY

Find their calendar list with more details here.

Children’s art display opens July 4, 2015

Children’s Art & Literary Landmark Celebration (includes plaque unveiling) July 11, 2015 10 am – 4 pm

Vinton IA

Mary Ingalls Society Pageant July 31, August 1 and 2, 2015

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

World of Little House – June 15, 2015 – July 31, 2015
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/calendar/event/3895/the-world-of-little-house

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  August 1-2, 2015 10:00 AM to 04:00 PM

LauraPalooza

The 2015 national Laura Ingalls Wilder conference will be held July 16-17, 2015 with July 18th spent in De Smet.

 

Sarah S. Uthoff 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.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 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.

Ep 60 Travel Tips for Laura Ingalls Wilder Vacations

The Laura Ingalls Wilder travel season is winding down and I’ve reached my 60th numbered Trundlebed Tales episode. In honor of this I’m going to finally do the special program that I’ve talked about doing in my Laura Ingalls Wilder monthly updates all summer. This is going to be a call in show where people can call in and share their favorite tip or discovery on any Laura related trip. This is taking a risk. I’ve reserved 60 minutes for the show and I don’t know if anybody will call in, but let’s try it and see what happens.

What Kind of Tips Am I Looking For?

I’m calling on fans and hope we get a lot of response. As people start planning their Laura Ingalls Wilder trips for next year we

Pepin Laura Days
Pepin Laura Days

want to give them the best advice and we’re counting on YOU! Call in and give your best Laura related travel tip. Which route do you take? What’s your favorite Laura trip related discovery? Is there a cool store everyone should visit? Where’s the best play to stay? Which homesites are best for adults only? Which homesites are best with kids? Single stop or big circle route? Should you do back to back pageants? Favorite non-related place to stop on way to homesite. Plus any related tip or hint you can think up.

When Is It?

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to think up your hint. The episode is scheduled for Thurs., October 30th, 2014 9 pm ET, 8 pm CT, 7 pm MT, 6 pm PT.

How Do I Participate?

Please call in at: Call in (714) 242-5253 or toll free 1-877-633-9389.  If you only call in once this year, this is the episode to do it. I’d prefer if you’d call in because it makes a more interesting show, but if you can’t call you can ask your questions in the chatroom while you live stream the episodes or you can tweet me @trundlebedtales or you can message Trundlebed Tales on Facebook or you can e-mail me at info@trundlebedtales.com. Just be sure to get that tip in.

You can also listen by streaming live or later:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2014/10/31/ep-60-travel-tips-for-laura-ingalls-wilder-vacations

Or download it for free on iTunes afterwards:
http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/trundlebedtales-blog-talk/id412309121

Sarah S. Uthoff 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.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.