Top 10 Posts During November 2017

Here are the blog posts and pages that have had the most views last month. Take a look maybe there is something there that will interest you too. :) I was a bit taking the statistics this year so the month is from November 8th to December 8th.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2017

Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2017

Mary Ingalls Society Report Fall 2017

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Events 2017

Smile You Can Donate To Laura on Amazon Nov 2017

Plagiarism The Internet is NOT Public Domain

Book – The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

Thanksgiving

In the Kitchen With Laura Project February 2014

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

General Laura Ingalls Wilder Program or A Long Way Home

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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Burr Oak Fundraisers

Check out these two fundraisers for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa this winter.

Buy Schwan’s Before December 15, 2017

Fundraising with Schwan’s Cares is a fundraising program that donates a portion of each online grocery purchase by the campaign supporters to the museum.

http://www.schwans-cares.com

For 65 years, Schwan’s™ Home Service has been delivering delicious food made with real ingredients that goes from the freezer to table in minutes.  With Schwan’s™ foods, a quality meal is always within reach.

You can support the museum just by purchasing Schwan’s!

Do your regular shopping online before December 15, enter our Fundraiser ID number (35008) and check out!  It’s as easy as that.  Food delivered right to your door, while supporting the mission of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak.

Annual Spaghetti Supper

Annual Spaghetti Supper, Country Store, and Pie Auction!

Please join us for this important annual fundraiser!

Date: February 9, 2018

Time: 5:30 — 7:30 p.m.

Cost:  $10 adults; $5 children ages 5-12; 4 and under free

Place: First Lutheran Church 604 W. Broadway, Decorah, IA 52101

Serving: spaghetti, garlic toast, salad, dessert, beverage.

** Note the change in location from the past suppers

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 Christmas Events 2017

Three of the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites reopen for a special Christmas event. If you get a chance, go!

Christmas Tree Ornaments
Christmas Tree Ornaments

Mansfield MO

Despite it being short, I’ve always wanted to attend the Christmas event to get a photo of me in the Rocky Ridge living room. Maybe someday….

Christmas on Rocky Ridge Farm December 3, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. Weather Permitting.
Free admission to the historic home featuring vintage decorations. Tunes on Pa’s fiddle. Bring YOUR camera or cell phone for pictures with Santa by Laura’s fireplace. Tastings from Laura’s own recipes. Come celebrate Christmas with us in a most special way! (NOTE*) If the parade is canceled for bad weather Laura’s Christmas will be canceled as well.

Spring Valley MN

Spring Valley Christmas Teas Dec. 2-3, 2017
Spring Valley is closed for the season at the end of October, but they reopen for Christmas teas. It is a full lunch set in a Victorian home that was built in 1888. Reservations required for the teas. Contact the museum at wilderinspringvalley@hotmail.com for reservations and more details.
http://www.springvalleymnmuseum.org/wilderevents.html

Malone/Burke NY

Christmas with Almanzo Dec. 2, 2017  11am – 3pm
Enjoy mulled cider & traditional cookies in the Wilder house with carol singing and Farmer Boy Christmas chapter readings. Readings will take place at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30. Plus, children’s holiday craft activities and the gift shop will be open! Free admission.
https://almanzowilderfarm.com/event/christmas-with-almanzo

Photo in Wilder Farmhouse – Courtesy of Connie Jenkins

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.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Plays 2017

It’s time to get in the mood for the holidays and for many families attending a Laura Ingalls Wilder play. There are four titles that are currently running on the circuit.

  • A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks
  • A Little House Christmas by James DeVita
  • Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek by Lisa Cordes

Hoover 2010 Me and Bonnet Tree

There are only so many ways to do A Christmas Carol. Let your local community or small professional theater that you’d like to see them do one of these next year! And if I’ve missed one in your neck of the woods let me know so I can add it.

First – Not Christmas

Although this isn’t a Christmas play, I had to chase it down from a reference during my search and it’s right after Christmas so I’m listing it anyway.

Laura Ingalls Wilder: Voice of the Prairie, Kathryn Schultz Miller; dir: Alan Knoll. Jan 9-Apr 8, 2018. Imaginary Theater Company St. Louis, MO
http://www.repstl.org/engage-learn/imaginary-theatre-company

Christmas Plays and Laura – An Annual Tradition

A Laura Ingalls play for Christmas continues to be an on-going tradition, but either it’s a slow year or they’re doing a worse job than normal at promoting. I didn’t find as many as usual. Remember to ask your local theater about it RIGHT NOW before they set next year’s season.

A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas by Laurie Brooks

If you want your local group to try it next year, check out the script and production rights. Learn the basics. Check out the author’s page.

Check out a clip from a production in 2012.

Knoxville, TN

Friday, Dec. 15 @ 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 16 @ 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 17 @ 2:30 p.m.

At Clayton Performing Arts Center -Pellissippi State Community College – Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37933

Tickets – $8-$12 – Available online and at the door.
To reach the Pellissippi Box Office, call 865-539-7529

http://wordplayers.org/current-season/mainstage-shows/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas-holiday-2017
https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?show=80574
https://us.eventbu.com/knoxville/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas/7582896

York, NE

December 5 – 9, 7:30 pm
December 10, 2:00 pm

Yorkshire Playhouse
517 N Lincoln Ave
PO Box 413
York, Nebraska

T (402) 362-7060 E yorktheater@gmail.com

https://www.yorkshireplayhouse.com/events-master/2017/12/5/laura-ingalls-wilder-christmas

“A Little House Christmas”

Check with the author for production rights. Learn more about him.

Shots from a production.

Des Moines, IA

November 3 – November 26, 2017
7:00 PM Fridays; 1:00 PM & 4:00 PM Saturdays & Sundays; ADDED SHOW: 4:00 PM, Sunday, Nov. 26

Kate Goldman Children’s Theatre
831 42nd Street
Des Moines lA 50312
MAP IT

515.277.6261

https://www.dmplayhouse.com/events/little-house-christmas

Bozeman, MT

December 2nd-December 17th, 2017

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017-3:00PM
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2017-3:00PM
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2017-3:00PM

Verge Theater
2304 North 7th Ave, Suite C-1
Bozeman, MT 59715

406-587-0737
info@vergetheater.com

https://vergetheater.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S37000004Jo09EAC
https://www.facebook.com/events/341368949667510/

“Melodies and Memories of Laura Ingalls Wilder”

Check out this clip from a 2009 production. No current productions found this year. Find out more if you want to put it on.

“A Little House Christmas at Plum Creek”

No current productions this year.

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.

 

Smile You Can Donate To Laura on Amazon Nov 2017

Amazon Smile is a program where if you sign up for it a small percentage of each purchase will go to the designated organization of your choice — but only if you’ve registered with them.

Sarah by books 1
Sarah by books 1

Amazon Smile

Amazon has created a program where if you go in through Amazon smile instead of straight a small percentage of every purchase (taken off Amazon’s share – the price you pay won’t increase) and donated to your chosen organization. Learn more about it on their FAQs. I’ve think this is a great idea.

When I found out about it I instantly looked for the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesites and none of them were listed. I got word to all the homesites about it with a hope from them to join the program, but it never heard back. So in the meantime I supported the USS Constitution aka Old Iron Sides. Two years ago I checked again because the Franklin Historical Society (before the Almanzo Wilder farm got up and running they were the prime destination in Malone, New York) publicized that they had joined the program. This time when I searched for other Laura organizations most  have joined. If you shop on Amazon, please consider going in through Amazon Smiles.

  1. Go to http://smile.amazon.com
  2. Log in to your existing Amazon account
  3. Search for the organization you want and select your organization

Amazon

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Amazon Smile Organizations

If you search the Amazon Smiles site under the exact names listed before the dashes, you can now give a percentage to these Laura organizations in the order I found them.

  • FCHMS – Franklin County Historical and Museum Society by searching for EIN: 14-1499839 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association – Mansfield MO by searching for EIN: 430949542 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society Incorporated – De Smet SD by searching for EIN: 460309777 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum & Tourist Center – Walnut Grove MN by searching for EIN: 411389293 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Society – De Smet SD by searching for EIN: 237417985 or by keyword.
  • Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association – Malone NY by searching for EIN: 141694262 or by keyword.
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Park & Museum Inc – Burr Oak IA by searching for EIN: 237427633 or by keyword.
  • Little House on the Prairie Museum – Independence KS by searching for EIN: 480875326 or by keyword.

You can also switch your organization as often as you want to share the love around so join up with Amazon Smile today, especially before you start your Christmas shopping!

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.

Mary Ingalls Society Report Fall 2017

A report from the Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School for Fall 2017. The future of the School for the Blind building and artifacts is in doubt, but if you want to do your part to encourage continued activities in Vinton please consider a membership. If visiting the blind school is important to you, do it as soon as you can – Sarah S. Uthoff

IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society Member Sheet

Blind School from hospital
Blind School from hospital

Dear Members and Friends:

October 2017 marks the 5th year the IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society has been working with the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School.  It is also time to renew memberships.  With that in mind we thought we would share some highlights from this past year.

  • It has been a busy year that has brought over 600 people, from many other states as well as Iowa, through the front doors of Old Main. The number includes 6 bus tours and at our October 15 “Prairie Fiddle” show in the Auditorium.
  • In October 2016, through our “Lot 31 Project”, we dedicated a monument and headstones at Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton. They now mark the graves of students from the School who had been laid to rest there in the late 1800s and early 1900s without permenant monuments.
  • October 2016 also saw us making a presentation to the Iowa Board of Regents outlining our position on the disposition of historical artifacts and records for the School in light of the Board’s decision to sell the campus property. Our focus centered on the preservation of Old Main and maintaining the historically significant items there.
  • Throughout the year we continued the work of cataloguing and preserving historic records and photos. We used grant money obtained through the Benton County Community Foundation and your generous membership gifts on the following projects.  60 VCR tapes were digitized for easier viewing and use.  Newspaper and scrap book articles dating from the 1950s through the 1980s were moved from folders in file drawers to acid free clear protective sleeves and stored in acid free boxes making them easy to view and available for use in displays and programs.  Some of these articles  accompanied us to a presentation at the State Lions Meeting in Cedar Rapids in June.  Acid free sheets for photos are now being filled to further enhance their preservation and ease of use in displays.  Additional storage boxes have also been purchased and filled with various archival materials.
  • In May 2017 we marked our second year for the Vinton-Shellsburg 6th graders to visit the campus. We are excited to tell you there are plans for the next group to visit in May 2018.  The School also hosted a group of secondary students belonging to a group called, Future Leaders of America.  Making this school connection has been a goal of ours since the beginning, and we continue to look at ways to expand our outreach to other schools in Benton County and beyond.
  • We participated in and had a display for the Rare Book event held at the Cedar Rapids Library.
  • This year has also marked a continuation of a great working relationship between the Mary Ingalls Society and the School’s alumni. They have been valuable allies in working on preservation of artifacts and have proven to be the highlights for many of our tour groups.

None of this work would have been possible without the participation of the IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society’s  members/supporters.  We sincerely thank you and invite you to renew your membership/support.  If you are not a member, we invite you to join us in this work.

Sincerely

Mary Ingalls Society