Plum Creek Park Camping

When the Prairie Whispers CoverLooking for a place to camp? Walnut Grove now has an online system to make a camping reservation.

If you don’t want to camp, still consider a visit. You can also get a tour guide booklet called through the museum gift shop.

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 ,    TwitterLinkedInSlideShare,  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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April 2019 Mentions

Sarah Uthoff in my new studio
Sarah Uthoff in my new studio

I had one major media mention this month. I did an interview with John Small on the local morning radio talk show. Check it out below. I had a few mentions in lists of what’s going on in Sioux Falls that week. The Sioux Falls program was underwritten by the South Dakota Humanities Council. Thank you for our support.

Small, John, host. “Sarah Uthoff – Getting to Know the Real Laura Ingalls Wilder.” John and Heidi Show. Sunny Radio. 2 Apr. 2019. www.spreaker.com/user/bigjohnsmall/805-sarahuthoff-gettingtoknowthereallaur. Accessed 7 May 2019.

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

Memorial Society Wagon Gets Covered

I don’t think it’s any secret that I LOVE De Smet, South Dakota. Despite my best efforts to go to OTHER Laura sites circumstances and De Smet keep calling me back. I was very pleased last year when I went to the De Smet Event that they’d gotten an authentic farm wagon/covered wagon like the Ingalls would have used.

Hansen Wheel and Wagon

The wagon was found in very good condition in a barn and restored by the internationally famous Hansen Wheel and Wagon that both restores and builds various kinds of wagons and horse equipment for museums, Hollywood, and well-healed horse people of all types. The business, which can be toured for a fee, is located near Mitchell, South Dakota (also home of the Corn Palace). Its owner, Doug Hansen, was able to come over to DeSmet for the DeSmet Event 2017.

Man in front of covered wagon
Doug Hansen of Hansen Wheel and Wagon in front of DeSmet Memorial Society Wagon

A Normal Farm Wagon

Everyday people on relatively short trips wouldn’t be buying Contestoga wagons, they’d just put hoops on their everyday farm wagon. Farm wagons are a very multipurpose vehicle. The sides can be taken down so that they are taller or shorter as needed. The box can be removed completely to move something that wouldn’t fit in the box. The box can be put on runners and be changed into a sleigh.

Under Cover

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in DeSmet doesn’t have much in the way of large scale storage so the wagon was left outside in the elements. However I just recently found this note off of the De Smet News council report

Tritle, David. “City Approves New Assisted Living Center.” The De Smet News, 15 Aug. 2018, pp. 1,8.

  • The Zoning Board also approved a request from the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society director Tessa Flak to build an open shelter to house the society’s antique prairie schooner. Flak said the elements have not been kind to the wagon and paint is starting to peel. She hoped the shelter would be sufficient to slow the decay. 

When I returned for my incredibly short trip in October 2018 I got a photo of the shelter.

Wagon under car port type shelter
Wagon Under New Shelter

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

Ozark Mountain Players Announce 2019 Dates

Ozark Mountain Players is an amateur repertory company in Mansfield, Missouri. Although they occasionally put on other productions, their big one is always Laura’s Memories.

What is Laura’s Memories?

Laura’s Memories is unique to the Laura pageants in that it covers most of Laura’s life. They rotate actors around as Laura gets older, so different actors will play the main parts and once they are no longer in the main parts the same actors continue to be seen in other roles for the rest of the show. Another difference is that Laura’s Memories is a muscial. I have the soundtrack and frankly I really prefer their songs to the one in professional musical. See especially “Farmer Boy.” Their schedule is also different because they split the dates of the pageant. Often they do more than 3 weekends and put them in at least two months. (Additionally they have by FAR the most comfortable seating of all the pageants.)

2019 Dates

There has been some changeover in the management of the group in the last several years and they haven’t always been too quick to get the performance dates out. But now we have them for 2019!

  • July 12-13, 2019
  • July 19-20, 2019
  • July 26-27, 2019
  • September 20-21, 2019 (Wilder Days)

If you’ve never been, you should go!

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

News from Rocky Ridge Spring 2019

Rocky Ridge Farmhouse
Rocky Ridge Farmhouse

One of the benefits of membership for the Laura Ingalls Wilder/Rose Wilder Lane Home and Museum is the Rocky Ridge Review newsletter. Don’t you think you ought to become a member? You can also look for on-going news on their Facebook page.

As a bonus, just starting today their Children’s Literature Festival t-shirts – and these are gorgeous – are live in their online store.

Rocky Ridge Review Headlines

Here are some of the news headlines from the newsletter, join up to get the full articles.

  • Last September the road to the Rock House, Stewart Drive, was paved.
  • The editor VERY cleverly tied that into an article Laura wrote that appeared in the Mansfield Mirror, reworked from a Missouri Ruralist article, about importance of improving roads especially Mansfield Boys Good Roads club. Find the whole article reprinted.
    (Blog Ed. Note: Mansfield was not unique in this club activity. Before states and counties took over the responsibility in the Midwest, country roads were the purview of the townships and local farmers. Before paving, roads were mud and in Iowa that REALLY meant MUD, mud of sticky clay. On top of time a farmer was required to put in as a sort of road tax, a neighborhood or school improvement movement often arranged for groups of men or clubs of boys to work on improving local roads. For instance it was one of Jessie Field Shambaugh’s, mother of 4-H, big projects.)
  • The Justamere Events last year were so popular that they’ve decided to continue them on different subjects. The name comes from one of the women’s clubs that Laura belonged to. Each program, limited in size and requiring prior registration and a tuition fee, is based on a different craft or restoration activity. This year they have one planned so far and it’s on May 11, 2019. It will focus on proper cleaning of tombstones.
  • Wilder Days have been featuring more activities than ever. In 2018 Morgan horses joined the event. With other activities like the fiddle contest continuing it’s more than ever a can’t miss event.
  • The Wilder Dinner 2018, a Wilder Days addition 2 years ago, had Karen Grassle (Caroline on the NBC TV show) as the special speaker at the fundraising event. Funds raised were designated to restore an arm chair from the Rocky Ridge living room and a secretary desk that belonged to Rose.
  • There is now a Butterfly Garden in front of the main museum building – 4,500 square foot of plants designed to attract and support butterflies. Volunteer Susan Essman force behind the establishment of this new attraction.
  • Fittingly a tribute to Jean Coday takes up a good chunk of the front page. Coday passed away last fall. She had first become involved with the Wilder home in the 1960s and had been the driving force behind what happened there for the last couple of decades.

Sadly there is also notice that this is the last issue in paper. They will be available as PDF from now on. This is unfortunate because Laura site newsletters are more than brief mentions of coming events and headlines of news that can be deleted or thrown away without a second thought. Laura site newsletters talk about recent research, hows and whys of restoration and conservation methods at the site, first hand accounts of major Laura events. Several sites have offered back issues a popular item for sale. In short, Laura homesite newsletters are meant to be preserved and re-read. I know I do. However as a PDF they are always endangered by changing technology. Versions you print yourself are usually printed on typing paper, weaker than what printers use, and using ink that isn’t designed for long term retention. Other homesites have already made the switch for the same reason this is being made – paper newsletters are becoming more and more expensive. They are offering a paper version if you request it, but my guess is that these will also be the equivalent of printing it yourself. I’m very sorry to see this come, but they are at least continuing production which is not true of all the homesites that once had newsletters.

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

March 2019 Mentions

Sarah Uthoff at Pepin Replica Cabin

We have two mentions this month. The first is about my early April appearance in Lake Mills, Iowa. The second is a little different. I have an extra credit coming on the documentary The Sons and Daughters of Thunder by Fourth Wall Films. A friend set up an entry for me on the Internet Movie Database. As someone who uses it a lot to answer questions (caveat emptor it’s not foolproof), it’s really great to be included. I’m not tied to the movie yet, but hopefully they’ll get it done soon. Photos can only be added with the professional version – which I haven’t paid for, but I’m glad to have an entry anyway.

Terry. “Laura Ingalls Wilders Comes To Lake Mills Public Library.” Lake Mills Graphic, 27 March 2019. lmgraphic.com/news/laura-ingalls-wilders-comes-lake-mills-public-library?fbclid=IwAR1-IkroBfgYUUFu0YMkrwBdj-MmRy6KwTh1SJ0Ot0ZxJxLAKhh-sktoMAQ. Accessed 30 March 2019.

“Sarah Uthoff.” Internet Movie Database. www.imdb.com/name/nm0882523/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1&fbclid=IwAR05aHvs5AYUUsdiRG_m_yuYWQzQ76mixkcMCoLy9N2bF2Zeuos–F_RFQQ. Accessed 30 March 2019.

Hopefully I’ll get something on it soon because it’s neat to have one. And apparently there was already a Sara Uthoff (without the h) who was in silent movies. Although if you want to see a record with stuff on it. Check out Jordan.

“Jordan Graham.” Internet Movie Database. www.imdb.com/name/nm6225476/?ref_=nv_sr_3. Accessed 30 March 2019.

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

April 2019 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Rocky Ridge Farmhouse
Rocky Ridge Farmhouse

April is a big month for Laura Ingalls Wilder programs, but you don’t see as many events. There is the Spring Valley museum’s annual membership meeting on April 7th and one really big event in Mansfield.

Mansfield MO

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 – 2:00 pm

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

New Book

Credo: The Rose Wilder Lane Story by Peter Bagge just released. It’s a graphic novel version of Rose’s Life.

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