August 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

August is a quieter month than July, but there are still plenty of events to choose from.

Wagon Ride at Pageant
Wagon Ride at Pageant

De Smet SD

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 11, 12, 13, 2017

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-20, 2017

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Aug. 26, 2017— Annual Cultural Festival – Native American Festival!

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

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Keystone Area Historical Association always hosts an event on August 3rd, previously this event was held on Carrie’s actual birthday no matter what day of the week it falls on. This will be changing in future.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Event August 12 & 13, 2017 10:00 am – 4:30 pm– Watch their website for more details.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  – August 5-6, 2017 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Watch for their page to be updated with 2017 information

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Hoover’s Hometown Days – August 5, 2017 1:30 pm Christine Woodside of Libertarians on the Prairie and David Davenport of Rugged Individualism to talk about their respective books.

 

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 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

July is the busiest month for events at the Laura homesites. For a long time I avoided Laura Ingalls Wilder events because I dislike crowds and I was used to the big events they used to have at Ushers Ferry. However, after I started going I discovered that there are all sorts of special activities. It’s not the same experience as going when it’s quieter, but it’s definitely worth a trip to any Laura event.

Horses and Covered Wagon
Horses and Covered Wagon at Ingalls Homestead

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

  • July 14-15, 2017
  • July 21-22, 2017
  • July 28-29, 2017

It’s the 40th Anniversary of the Pageant! Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays July 15, July 22, and July 29, 2017

11:00 am to 6:00 pm Check the Walnut Grove website for full schedule and more details as it gets closer. At this point, no speakers or celebrity appearances are scheduled.

De Smet SD

July 14-16 2017 – an event in De Smet, South Dakota in honor of Laura’s 150th anniversary

Little Town on the Prairie

  • July 7, 8, 9, 2017
  • July 14, 15, 16 2017
  • July 21, 22, 23 2017

Pageant Selection for 2018 – These Happy Golden Years

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Eliza Jane School Days – July 24-25 & 27-28, 2017

Mansfield MO

Laura’s Memories Pageant

July 14-15, 21-22, 28-29, 2017

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

July 22, 2017 Laura: Happy 150th

  • Birthday cake!
  • 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!

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

 

World of Little House – July 22, 2017 to July 30, 2017 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Watch their website for more information.

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 Homesites Open for the Season 2017

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Season has officially gotten underway again. If you plan a Laura trip before they open, make sure you call ahead. The homesite museums that are not fully open, may or may not be able to accommodate you by opening the museum, etc. or giving lists of what there is to see.

Independence, Kansas
Independence, Kansas

2017 Opening Dates

Pepin, WI – Opens May 12, 2017

Independence, KS – Opened March 1, 2017

Walnut Grove, MN – The visitor/gift shop stays open all year round with reduced hours in the off season. April 1, 2017 the ground open and the hours expand to include weekends. They add Saturday 10:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday Noon – 4:00pm. May 1, 2017 they expand weekend hours again to Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday Noon – 5:00pm. June 1, 2017 hours extend to 10:00am – 6:00pm daily.

Dugout Site normally not open until May, but this year it reopened this week. The date is dependent on weather conditions, if there is still snow or if it’s flooded it won’t open as early. Call ahead and check.

Burr Oak, IA – Opened May 1, 2017 MonSat limited hours through May. Hours expand with Memorial Day.

DeSmet, SD –
Memorial Society – Opened limited hours in January – April, expand to Saturday during May, and then go to 7 days a week June 1st.

Ingalls Homestead – Opened Memorial Day Weekend for regular hours 9am -7pm every day with activities from 10am -6pm. They host school visits M-F through May so if you plan on a visit before they officially open next year, you may not be out of luck.  Visitors are welcome to join up with a school group, but should call or email first to get specific times as they vary daily.  800-776-3594 – mail@ingallshomestead.com

Mansfield, MO –
Opened March 1st, 2017

Malone, NY
Opened Sat., May 27, 2017

Spring Valley, MN
Regular hours on Memorial Day Weekend, Sat., May 27, 2017.

Keystone, SD – Opened June 1, 2017

Vinton, IA – Since they are kind of in a different situation, being part of an institution that has to be open all year. They don’t have stated open hours, but will gladly give a tour by appointment. Pat Barr wrote “We  will give a tour any day Monday through Friday. They may call Justin Ruegg at 319-472-5221, Extension 1226 or myself at 319-472-5221, Extension 1110.”

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.

Mary Kopsieker RIP

Mary Making a Corncob Doll
Mary Making a Corncob Doll

I’m sorry to announce belatedly that Mary Kopsieker has passed on. We normally got in contact when there was a Laura event. I was a little surprised she didn’t contact me or show up for Bill Anderson’s talk at Hoover this last Labor Day or respond to my e-mail about it, but I was busy around then so I didn’t think too much about it. I just sent postcard Christmas cards in 2015 because we were busy with our Disney trip so I also didn’t really think it was that important that I didn’t get a Christmas card back which I normally did and postcards aren’t returned if the address is wrong. So I was kind of shocked when I got my Christmas card returned this year and when I searched for her online I found her obituary and discovered that she had passed away August 4, 2015.

http://ottumwaradio.com/mary-kopsieker/

Continued Laura Connection

Mary had been an early visitor to the homesites, going with a friend, and had lots of stories to tell of those early days. One great story was that she had gone to DeSmet for one of the anniversaries and told about taking a tour of the town riding via a hay ride (square bales on a hay wagon). After that friend passed on she didn’t really feel comfortable traveling all that way by car alone so she didn’t go for some time.

She did come with me to the original De Smet event in 2005 and went on the 2007 tour Burr Oak organized to Malone. You might have met her there. She co-presented with me at the Laura themed Hawkeye Doll Club workshop in 2008. My post about that continues to be one of most visited blog posts.  She’s also the one that visited the What Cheer Opera House with me when we were planning the doll club workshop. She attended pretty much every Laura event within a reasonable drive and still presented on Laura at her local school and libraries.

Mary by Memorial
Mary by Memorial

Still Active

She was an avid flutist and continued to travel to the national flute convention each year (by plane which she felt much more comfortable traveling on her own). Since she was still traveling extensively and very active it was quite a shock to find that she had suddenly passed away.

mary-in-pink

Terrible Reminder

This is also a reminder for all Laura collectors that you need to make arrangements for your collection officially in your will or go ahead and pass it along as you get older. Her Laura collection didn’t go where she had always said she was going to leave it and my guess is – since her family didn’t care anything about Laura – that it got pitched or was included in her estate auction which probably also lead to most of it being pitched. So don’t let all the work you put in gathering your Laura collection go to waste. Tell your family where you want it to go with contact information and spell it out in your will – I have.

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.

Almanzo Farmstead Events Malone 2017

Check out the events at the Almanzo Wilder farm in Malone/Burke, New York in 2017. The Almanzo Wilder farm is located between Malone and Burke, New York and is the setting of Farmer Boy. They were late getting started as a museum, but did a wonderful job in getting started including a two season archeological dig. They are well worth a visit.

events-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.

Little House Fans Head North

Wilder House with Flag
Wilder House with Flag

Recently the Almanzo Wilder Homestead News newsletter’s top story was the fact that Mountain Lake PBS (the affiliate for up state New York) had done a news magazine story on the Wilder farm as it stands today. It includes footage inside the house where you’re not normally allowed to take photos. The guide points to where the blacking brush Almanzo threw at Eliza Jane hit (they show a blacking brush, but I think it might have been a bigger brush if he could throw it very well).

The story focuses on tour guides Katelyn Pierce and Jim Lusk.

Malone is a great place to visit, but it’s a long drive down a two lane road from everywhere. Enjoy this short visit and plan one in real life 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 2016

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 sixth year I’ve put together a shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. So 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.

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

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 this year even faster than normal.

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!

Little House Coloring Book
Little House Coloring Book

For a third year in the row the homesites have worked together to create a calendar with photos from all the sites. This year they are including recipes from The Laura Ingalls Wilder Country Cookbook. Heads up they are printed on slick paper and the space the recipe takes up means that calendar squares are smaller than the last two years. They are available at any homesite giftshop. Mine is hung up already.

The big news was that back in March a brand new book by William T. Anderson was released. The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder is the perfect present for any Laura fan that wants to learn more. Anderson thinks this will be the last newly published material we’ll see from Wilder.

Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder

More big news is that the Little House on the Prairie Museum has rolled out a brand new online store. Check it out. I especially love the stuffed bull. Instead of a longhorn, it’s a Hereford. Herefords are the best. We raise them. (Yes, I have one of these.)

New paperback editions of two scholarly books came out this year and would also make good buys.

  • Little House Long Shadow: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Impact on American Culture by Anita Clair Fellman (which includes a Sarah Uthoff reference).
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane: Authorship, Place, Time, and Culture by John E. Miller

A recent publication takes into account the surge in adult coloring and The Little House Coloring Book has been a big hit. Based on Garth Williams illustrations at any of the giftshops. If you’re into coloring there is also a great coloring book based on illustrations by Cheryl Harness is available at most homesites. See some sample pages.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before, but here’s an idea for your favorite fan if they are planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. The tickets are available for 2017 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.)

Pioneer Night Dress
Pioneer Night Dress

Spring Valley may be a small site, but they tend to look for different and local buys so their giftshop always has interesting things you won’t find other places. Unfortunately they are out of their Christmas ornaments right now, but among other things they have a delightful large collection of “American Girl” style doll clothes. “We have big variety of 18″ Like Laura doll clothes that would make any young girl on your list happy.” I bought this lovely pioneer nightdress for my niece. Shhhh! E-mail them with questions about what they have and they’ll send photos.

The Almanzo Wilder farm has rolled out a wood cut ornament to add to your Christmas collection. wood-cut-ornament

The Walnut Grove museum brought out several new designs of sweatshirts and long sleeve t-shirts during 2016. It’s sometimes harder to find clothes to share your Laura love during the winter or even during cool summer nights. With one of the largest gift shops, Walnut Grove continues to work with authors and publishers to offer signed copies for Little House fans who can’t get to a book signing. Their big seller right now is autographed copies of Melissa Gilbert’s My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours. Ask them about other titles. They also focus on local handcrafted items. Don’t forget their doll clothes including the cutest American Girl style doll coat on the planet. 

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet are continuing with their Garth Williams ornaments with designed closely inspired by Garth Williams work. The memorial society has also come out with an entry for De Smet in the Images of America series from Arcadia publishing. If you are unfamiliar with this publishing company they have a template and then partner with local people to collect the photos and information to complete it. Many towns across the country have done this and Mansfield, Missouri also has one available through the Mansfield Historical Society. Check out an exciting, well researched publication Laura Ingalls Wilder and Education in Kingsbury County by Nancy Cleveland.

When I was in De Smet this summer I was most impressed by the Memorial Society’s decorative replicas. I bought things like a version of the butter churn Laura threw out the door at Rocky Ridge and a lamp mat.

Check out new fabric licensed by Little House on the Prairie of Family Friendly Films for crafts and sewing projects. They have also license a series of dolls through Queen Treasures. These are the 18 inch dolls (the same size as American Girls) and includes both the dolls and a range of accessories.

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 15, 2016

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 13, 2016

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date use your own judgment.

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 21, 2016

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com
Last Day for Priority – December 19, 2016

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 – December 9, 2016

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Phone (563) 735-5916
Last Day for Priority – December 15, 2016

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 15, 2016

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.