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

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

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.

De Smet Dress Mystery Likely Solved

Ever since the big Manchester tornado went through, visitors to the De Smet Depot Museum have seen two 19th century mystery dresses. They were displayed after being found in perfect shape after the tornado. The story got a lot of press coverage and the museum kept trying to identify where they came from, but they never had any luck. Just recently they had another article about the museum that featured the dresses and this time something clicked.

According to the July 29, 2015 issue of The De Smet News the dress owner has tentatively been identified. They realized that one of the dresses or its duplicate appeared in a photo included in a book of history about Manchester, SD. (Manchester is the next “town” up the line from De Smet and was home to both Harvey Dunn and Grace Ingalls Dow.) The woman was identified as Mrs. Bjornson. Further research showed that she was related to Noel “Toby” Towberman whose generational family home was destroyed by the tornado. Towberman has since died, but it looks like the identification is far better than anything they had before. Get more details in The De Smet News.

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.

A Round Up of Articles About De Smet SD

Surveyor's House
Surveyor’s House

Last year I decided that I need to make it easier to find articles on certain topics and it was time to hold a good old-fashioned round up. I got Pepin and Independence done and then I got distracted with other projects and topics. I still think it’s a good idea so I’m picking up where I left off.

These posts are all about De Smet, South Dakota, the Little Town on the Prairie and Pheasant Paradise.  De Smet is the county seat of Kingsbury County and so it is a fairly large small town with multiple restaurants and hotels.

Today Show Segment on De Smet 2011 (link to video still good)
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/09/25/today-show-segment-on-de-smet

Rain Follows the Plow
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/rain-in-de-smet

Blizzards in De Smet 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/blizzards-in-de-smet

Celebrating Laura’s Birthday
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/02/18/celebrating-lauras-bday-de-smet

LHoP: the Musical Press Conference in De Smet
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/press-conference-in-de-smet

Family Tree Hunt Leads to Laura
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/family-tree-hunt

The Year Was 1880
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/the-year-was-1880

Aubrey Sherwood
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/publisher-honored

Memorial Society

50th Anniversary of Society 2007
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/50th-anniversary-celebration-in-desmet

Garth Williams Illustrations Added
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/de-smet-adds-to-illustration

Jeopardy Appearance
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/jeopardy-uses-wilder-memorial-society-photo

Laura Lore History
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/laura-lore-spring-summer-2010

Old De Smet Photos Donated
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/old-de-smet-photos

Signed Copies of the Little House Books Donated
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/signed-copies-donated

Updates and Improvements from De Smet 2013
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/09/29/wilder-society-update

Horse Drawn Wagons at Ingalls Homestead
Horse Drawn Wagons at Ingalls Homestead

Ingalls Homestead

Harvey Dunn Plein Aire Event 2009
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/dunn-plein-air-event-slated

Harvey Dunn Plein Aire Event 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/report-on-plein-air-event

Harvey Dunn Plein Aire Event 2013
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/de-smet-news-reports-on-plein-aire-event

Pageant

The Book That Changed Your Life 1999
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2007/03/13/this-american-life-radio-show

Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant on Dakota Life
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/laura-ingalls-wilder-on-dakota-life

Attendance Numbers 2009
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/de-smet-pageant

Pageant Receives Grant 2009
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/de-smet-pageant-receives-grant

Prairie Time Machine 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/07/11/prairie-time-machine

Dakota Fairytale 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/05/26/a-dakota-fairytale

First Four Years 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/03/18/new-pageant-at-de-smet

Cast Updates 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/06/08/de-smet-cast-updates

Everyone Comes To De Smet 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/everyone-comes-to-de-smet

Pageant Gets New Director 2012
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/de-smet-pageant-new-director

De Smet Pageant 2012
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/de-smet-pageant-2012-and-beyond

Visits

Presenting 2011
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/programs-in-de-smet-sd

Roving Report 2011
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/roving-reports-from-de-smet-sd

Kingsbury County Courthouse

Receives Grant
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/kingsbury-county-gets-grant

Visitor Information

De Smet Catholic Church
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/de-smet-catholic-church

Disc Golf Course Funded
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/disc-golf-coming-to-de-smet

Elm Trees
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/elm-trees

Get Out and Walk
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/get-out-and-walk

Giant Windmills
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/giant-windmills

Grain Elevators
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/grain-elevators

Kingsbury Country Club Under New Management 2012
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/country-club-management

Pack Your Bug Spray
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/pack-your-bug-spray

Prairie Manor Under New Management 2009
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/prairie-manor-continues-under-new-owners

Tornado Weather
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/tornado-weather

Train Tracks Improved – Take Care On the Tracks
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/de-smet-update

Weather Extremes
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2009/10/20/weather-extremes

Videos

Cottonwood Memorial Site 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crLgHPhoKFc

De Smet Visit Video 2010
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/08/01/laurapalooza-trip-video-diary-last-day-part-1

LauraPalooza 2012 Trip De Smet
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_NlsBa0hTs

Laura on Dakota Life
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/laura-ingalls-wilder-on-dakota-life

Old Settlers Day

Old Settlers Day Threatened
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/05/15/old-settlers-day-in-question

Old Settlers Day Back On
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2010/05/23/old-settlers-day-back-on

Manchester SD

Manchester Tornado Anniversary
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/manchester-tornado-anniversary

Manchester Compromise Reached Over Building Blocking Memorial
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/manchester-sd-compromise

UPDATED September 17 2016: I updated my signature block, but that’s about all I needed.

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

 

 

Manchester SD Compromise

Manchester SD
Manchester SD

The June 26, 2013 issue of the De Smet News reported that the long saga of the fight over what happens now in Manchester seems to have ended for now.  After the tornado destroyed most of Manchester, eventually the remains were torn down and a group put up a monument to the town. Later one of the local land owners decided they wanted to put up a storage building, it was to be a dual use personal storage and renting out storage. However, after the town was destroyed the land was rezoned agricultural and the business wasn’t allowed. It was challenged by the group behind the monument since they were reusing the slab of a previous building which blocked the monument from the highway. There were fights all the way through the legal process and it’s been a very long time. Finally they’ve reached the compromise. A select number of the lots have been rezoned to allow a business and a couple of others are rezoned to allow access to the business only. This relocation will not block the monument and as a condition of the deal, they’ll have to remove the remains of the original building attempt. Hopefully this will end this divisive struggle and that the publicity from it will help encourage everyone to add a visit to Manchester  to their De Smet trip.

Learn more about Manchester here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/manchester-tornado-anniversary

Manchester Tornado Anniversary

Manchester SD
Manchester SD

In June 2003 I was in De Smet for Ingalls Homestead Teacher Day. I had stopped along the way to pick up Shirley Knakmuhs and her daughter to bring her along. The event went great and I remember standing on the hill with her and her daughter at the Ingalls Homestead. My time had been mostly focused on the event, but high on my priority list of projects was to go and get more photos of Manchester, the next town down the tracks from De Smet, the birthplace of Harvey Dunn, and most importantly to me the long term home of Grace Ingalls Dow. We were already past the time we originally planned to leave (a common event with me and De Smet) and I turned to the west and calculated how much extra time a quick jaunt to Manchester would add. With one thing and another I decided we didn’t have time and said so. Shirley said we could take the time, but I calculated again, realized there really wasn’t a good way to do it and get where we supposed to before dark. So I said, “Oh no, that’s all right. Manchester will still be there the next trip.” And we got in the car and headed east instead of west.

The next week Manchester was hit by an F-4 tornado on June 24, 2003. At the time the population of Manchester had dwindled to 6 people, 3 of whom were injured in the storm.

Historic F-4 Tornado Hit the News

This storm pretty much wiped the town site clean. It was caught on film and its vitals recorded by sensor. It was one of the storms included in the Nova special “Hunt for a Supertwister.”

Description:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/hunt-for-the-supertwister.html

Watch online:
http://video.pbs.org/video/1464304382/ (South Dakota starts 40 minutes in)

It also made the cover of National Geographic Magazine:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0404/feature1/

Historic Notes

Tim Samaras who was one of the stormchasers who followed the storm was killed May 31, 2013 when a tornado struck their vehicle near El Reno, Oklahoma. It was Samaras’s designed probe (called a turtle) that measured the greatest barometric pressure drop ever recorded, 100 millibars within 12 seconds. According to the De Smet News Samaras “once called his experience with the Manchester tornado the most memorable of his career.”

Highway 14 originally called the Black and Yellow Trail. Manchester’s brushes with history include being the birthplace of Harvey Dunn, being the longtime home of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Grace Ingalls Dow and her husband Nate (whose nephew was Harvey Dunn), and the 1961 great goldfield hunt sponsored by Keloland in honor of South Dakota’s territorial centennial celebration which brought out approximately 150,000 people, plus Lawrence Welk and Clint Eastwood (then famous for Rawhide). (The Keloland TV station buried literal coffee cans in an empty field and turned people lose to try to dig them up.) A now reprinted history of the town was written by Grace Ingalls Dow.

Community Since the Storm

Since the storm there has been a rise in community action. A group has cleaned up the mess, built a memorial, and has organized several events. Including a potluck in honor of the anniversary at 6:30 pm June 24, 2013. Unfortunately there has been  a fight between a local landowner (Rex Geyer) who wanted to reuse some of the cement from the destroyed buildings to create a commercial rental building and the memorial builders who feel his project in its current location devalues the memorial.

“Storm Chaser Had Ties To Manchester.” De Smet News. 5 June 2013: 3. Print.

Several articles in the June 19, 2013 issue of the De Smet News were also on the anniversary.
http://www.argusleader.com/viewart/20130623/UPDATES/306240007/Manchester-commemorates-anniversary-tornado-hit

A compromise was finally reached with the commercial rental building and the the monument supporters:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/manchester-sd-compromise

P.S. I had hit the wrong button on the camera so the date feature was turned on, but not correct this was taken in either 2004 or 2005.

UPDATE March 21, 2015: I added the signature block and did some slight editing. Plus I added a link to my post about the compromise they worked out.

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.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Collection

Relic from Graces House

It seems like there is something about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s writing that does compel people to try to find and possess a piece of “Laura World” as Wendy McClure calls it, by collecting physical things. Many of the things the Ingalls Family had were mass produced and therefore it is possible to find and buy the same or extremely similar things to those mentioned in the books and found on display in Laura’s last home in Mansfield, Missouri.

Laura’s Glass Bread Plate (famously featured in The First Four Years), a replica of Laura’s doll Charlotte, sunbonnets (worn on strings trailing down your back), and mounted twigs from the Ingalls Homestead Memorial Site in De Smet are common. Less common but still popular are the other pieces in Laura’s bread plate glassware, her china patterns and assorted knickknacks. My own collection also includes a lot of period things mentioned in the books, like a bullet mold, a butter mold, a Braille slate, autograph albums, etc.

However, I also own things like the relic pictured above. When Grace’s house was torn down some enterprising person connected with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in De Smet got a hold of some boards from the house sawed them up into thin slices and sold them at the gift shop. I also have a hunk of the Loftus Store wall which they also cut into pieces and sold when they cut through to join two store buildings. Plus wheat grown on the Ingalls Homestead and a shingle off Rocky Ridge, sadly this is off the second time they re-did the roof although the roof that was there when Laura was was also sold off a shingle at a time in their gift shop.

What’s the most unusual thing you have in your collection? Or what is still serving as your white whale? Currently I’m looking for just the right bear trap and a set of the character dolls created by California doll maker Barbara Brooks and described by Laura in the only known recording of her voice.

UPDATE: I appreciate the people who commented on the post with things in your collection. I’d have to say the only thing odder I’ve added to my collection is a paperdoll of me as Laura.

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.