October 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

This is the last big month of Laura events until we have a couple of Christmas things pop up so take this last chance to visit a homesite event for this season. It’s the annual Burr Oak fundraiser. Come along and help earn them some money! Plus a pop up event in Mansfield to hear Pa’s fiddle. They’ve been doing a lot of these short turn around time from announcement to event events lately. Keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Mansfield MO

Sunset Serenade
Oct. 12, 2018 – Starts at 7pm
Come listen to Pa’s fiddle play a variety of music will be played at this family friendly event.

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale October 13, 2018 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

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 , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, 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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Upcoming Mansfield Events

With permission I’m republished an e-mail that recently went out to members about their upcoming events this fall. Most of the formatting is theirs.

150th Magnet – Photo Courtesy of Mansfield

Dear Members and Supporters!

Thank you for your continued support to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum here in Mansfield, MO. We have some exciting events coming up that we wanted to share with you and hope that you will share them with your friends and family.

In Addition to the events listed below, we are doing some green fundraising, but we need your help! Now through the end of September we will be collecting new and gently used shoes of all types. By collecting these shoes, we are not only raising money for our beloved museum but helping individuals in disaster areas. So please go through your closets and ask your friends, family, and even your co-workers to do the same. Shoes can be brought directly to the museum or dropped off at one of our locations in Springfield. A flyer has been attached if you wish to share it. Thank you for your participation!

August 4:  10 a.m.- 3p.m.: Justamere Event: Blue Willow T-shirt making party $25

Come join us here at the Wilder Home and learn about Blue Willow, Laura’s favorite dish pattern. Participants of the workshop will each make their own Blue Willow T-shirt using imagery from the pattern. Tickets include your admission to the museum, both houses, refreshments, and your custom handmade T-shirt. Additionally, each participant will have a ticket entered in our raffle to win a custom piece of Blue Willow jewelry. The pendant on the necklace features a piece of blue willow similar to what Laura owned. This is an all ages event, come and go as you please.

August 10:  11a.m.: Pa’s Fiddle

This is a free event for museum guests. Elsa Godding, of Springfield, will be taking guests on an audio journey through Laura’s books. During this family-oriented event, she will discuss with the audience each book and the significance of the songs she is performing on Pa’s Fiddle. All ages.

September 14:  Wilder Dinner with Reception Add-on, Reservations Required

$40 Reception: 5:30 p.m. at the Historic Farmhouse

(ticket to the dinner is required for the reception)

$85 Dinner: 7p.m. (doors at 6:30 p.m.) at the Mansfield High School

This year’s dinner guest is Karen Grassle, who played Caroline Ingalls in the hit t.v. series. She will be available before the dinner (at the reception add on) for photographs at the Historic Farmhouse. The dinner will have live music, including music played from Pa’s fiddle. There will also be a live and silent auction.

September 15:  All Day: Wilder Day

$10 Adult tickets

$5 Children’s tickets

Come join us for the annual Wilder Day celebration where we will be holding the 5th Annual Fiddle Off competition. Special guest Karen Grassle will be in attendance this year and will be available for guests to purchase autographs from. Pa’s fiddle will be played three times during the event. Additionally, we will have a children’s activity tent available for the youngsters. So, come have a good time and listen to good music while supporting our museum.

October 12: 7 p.m.- 9p.m. Sunset Serenade $10

Grab a lawn chair and join us out on the lawn in front of the historic Farm House for a sunset serenade. Enjoy the fall colors in a beautifully preserved historic atmosphere as Elsa Godding plays Pa’s fiddle. Food will be available for purchase. This is an all ages event. Cost is $10.

November 15– Closing Day

This is the last day to tour the museum and both houses before we close for the season.

December 1: Time TBD, call for more info in November

Come tour Laura’s home, get your pictures taken with Santa, and shop in our giftshop before the holidays. Samples from Laura’s cookbook will be provided and the cookbook will be available in the gift shop for purchase. This event is all ages and is free to the public.

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you!

August 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Pepin Cabin
Pepin Cabin

It’s August and it’s the last harrah of summer with a few more events at the homesites.

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 10, 11, 12, 2018 and August 9, 10, 11, 2019

Spring Valley MN

Ag Days (town celebration formerly Wilderfest) August 17-19, 2018

Mansfield MO

Justamere Club: Legend of the Blue Willow T-Shirt Painting Party 
Legend of the Blue Willow T-Shirt Making Party
Create art for yourself while conserving it for others!
When: Saturday, August 4, 2018 at 10 am – 3 pm
Where: Laura Ingalls Wilder Home, Mansfield, MO
Cost: $25 per person. Reservations are Required (Limited to 50 people)
Includes:

  • Admission to the museum & both houses
  • Supplies
  • Your own custom t-shirt *Please specify size in “Order Notes” when checking out*
  • Refreshments

Come learn about Laura’s favorite dish pattern and the legend behind it. Participants will make their own t-shirt using imagery from the story. Each t-shirt will be custom made making it a unique piece of art. This is an all ages event. Come and go as you please.

Pa’s Fiddle will be played on August 10, 2018 at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. Elsa Godding will do the honors at 11 AM in the afternoon! This is a free event!!!

Laura’s Memories Pageant August 31, 2018

Malone/Burke NY

Annual Cultural Festival – The British Have Landed! – August 28, 2018

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

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s Birthday Party – August 3, 2018 – 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Weekend  – August 4-5, 2018 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

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

July 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Sarah by Ma's House - Ingalls Homestead
Sarah by Ma’s House – Ingalls Homestead

July is always a big month for events. In addition to the regular events there is a new Event in Keystone, Ingalls Christmas in July. I hope you have a Laura trip planned for this month.

Walnut Grove MN

Fragments of a Dream Pageant

Museum/Pageant 2018 Brochure

  • July 6-7, 2018
  • July 12, 13, 14, 2018
  • July 19, 20, 21, 2018

Family Festival held in Walnut Grove City Park on pageant Saturdays
July 6, July 13, and July 20, 2018

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.

NOTE: July 11-14, 2019 they will have a Little House on the Prairie TV show cast reunion. They are still under negotiation so no cast list or firm date has yet been announced yet. Watch for more information. Check out my podcasts about my trip to the 2014 Walnut Grove Reunion.

De Smet SD

These Happy Golden Years

  • July 6, 7, 8, 2018
  • July 13, 14, 15, 2018
  • July 20, 21, 22, 2018

Pageant Selection for 2018 – These Happy Golden Years

Spring Valley MN

Eliza Jane One Room School Days – July 23-27, 2018

Mansfield MO

The Ozark Mountain Players are still in a rebuilding phase. They are looking at expanding to other productions during the year.

Laura’s Memories Pageant

July 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, 2018

Malone/Burke NY

Celebration of Youth and Morgan Horse – July 28, 2018

  • 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!

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Ingalls Christmas in July – July 25, 2018 – 10:00 am
An Evening with “Manly” Dean Butler – July 25, 2018 – 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM MDT

Visit the Original Wilder Medal

I gave my thoughts on the ALSC division of ALA removing Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name from their lifetime achievement award. As part of it I said there really wasn’t anything we could about changing the name. That’s still true, but since then I’ve seen an amazing amount of support coming out for Laura. The very idea that they are attacking Laura and her books has roused reactions of defense from a lot of people who I wouldn’t have said even knew who Laura was. Comments run on articles the way online comments tend to run if there is a lot of them, but there has been support online as well. Sales of the books have exploded on Amazon and I’ve heard that memberships in Laura organizations and donations have seen a spike. So the thing we CAN do is to funnel some of that good will into helping preserve the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite museums with visits, donations, and memberships.

Sarah in an incredibly pretty outfit standing under the Mansfield library sign.
This is my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder Library photo. It’s from my trip in the late 1990s.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Branch of the Wright County Library

On my first trip to Mansfield I didn’t visit the public library – my mom planned those trips. However, once I started planning on my own I realized that the library was an important stop.

Laura and a club she belonged to, the Athenians, were part of the club women’s efforts to establish public libraries all over the country. Having a library is not a given and although it’s the norm for a town of any size to have a public library today that was NOT a given. It’s because of the efforts of now forgotten club women that many of our libraries exist. Laura and her club were successful and a library was established. (Club women don’t get enough credit for all the good they did.)

As you go across the country there are differences in how libraries are organized. In Missouri they are organized by county which means there is a main branch in one town (normally but not always the county seat) and then any other public libraries in the county are branches under the county wide administration. The Wright County Library has 3 branches: Hartville (county seat), Mansfield, and Mountain Grove. The Mansfield branch was named the Laura Ingalls Wilder Library at a reception in 1951.

Visit Laura at the Library?

During the last years of Laura’s life she wasn’t sure what was going to happen to her home. One of her thought was to turn the Rocky Ridge Farmhouse into a new location for the library which had been named for her. Another was that there would be a display of materials on Laura in the museum in a different location. After all you will remember that Laura left the income of her estate to the library, giving her daughter Rose Wilder Lane only life estate. That didn’t happen, but there was a strong connection between Laura and local library. She was one of it’s most loyal patrons visiting every week.

Laura donated many unique things to the library for them to display. That included the original set of Barbara Brooks dolls that she describes in the only known recording of her voice. Some things they returned to the museum when it started, other things they have no idea what happened to (for instance a tool that Almanzo’s father had used in building their home), and some you can still see on display today. It’s well worth a visit.

Original Wilder Medal on display in case
Wilder Medal on Display in Laura Ingalls Wilder Branch of the Wright County Library – Courtesy of Connie Ryle Neumann

Original Wilder Medal

By the time Laura received the Wilder Medal it was 1954. She only had a couple of more years to live so when she received the lifetime achievement award from the children’s literature division of the American Library Association, while honored she didn’t keep it. She passed it on to the library.

The medal was designed by Garth Williams patterning it after the image of Laura from Little House in the Big Woods. The medal has remained unchanged until this year. They ALA also no longer wants to use the Garth Williams design and in their committee recommendations suggested that past winners could turn them in for the new medal design.

The original Laura Ingalls Wilder medal was not well displayed in the original case (which was featured in the famous photo of Laura on that day – and which they seem to have pitched when they got the new library). It was stuck in between the dolls and I was amazed when I realized that THE original medal was sitting behind the boards where the casements of the doors came together.

Today it is much more prominently features in a newer, larger case — and I really have to get down there to get a better photo.

So if you are suddenly interested in this honor to Laura be sure to stop by the Laura Ingalls Wilder branch in Mansfield when you go to pay your respects to Rocky Ridge.

Last Updated July 19 2018: Thanks to Connie Ryle Neumann I added a clear photo of the original Wilder Medal.

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

June 2018 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

June is the start of summer and that’s when events at the homesites spring into full gear. Besides our normal events we have a few one-offs this year including a very unique fundraiser at Mansfield and a piece of unsettling news.

Independence KS

Prairie Days – Saturday, June 9, 2018 10am-4pm

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  June 22-24, 2018

Spring Valley MN

Annual Ice Cream Social – June 15, 2018

Mansfield MO

Justamere Club Painting Event: This is a plein air event (painting in the open air) for a $60.00 ticket you’ll get: all of the needed painting supplies, a guided painting session, tours of the Homes and Museum, refreshments and a guided conservation activity. This Event is limited to the first 30 tickets sold. Your tickets may be purchased  online  or by calling 417-924-3626.

Vinton IA

Tours are still available, but events are in doubt due to uncertainty of the future of the building. If you really want to visit do it before June 1, 2018.

American Writers Museum – Chicago, Illinois

Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page Exhibit from November 18, 2017 – Spring 2018

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

Laura Homesites Open for the Season 2018

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.

Wagon Ride at DeSmet Pageant
Wagon Ride at DeSmet Pageant

2018 Opening Dates

Pepin, WI – Opens May 11, 2018

Independence, KS – Opened April 1, 2018

Walnut Grove, MN – The visitor/gift shop stays open all year round with reduced hours in the off season.
April 1, 2018 the ground open and the hours expand to include weekends.
(Mon.-Sat. 10:00 am-4:00 pm; Sun. 12 Noon-4:00 pm)
May 1, 2018 they expand weekend hours again
(Mon.-Sat. 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Sun. 12 Noon-5:00 pm)
June 1, 2018 hours extend to 10:00 am – 6:00 pm daily.

Dugout Site normally not open until sometime May. 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. But it’s now open for this year.

Burr Oak, IA – Opened May 1, 2018 MonSat limited hours through May.
(Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm –Last tour 3:  on all days– Sunday: Noon – 4:00 pm) Hours expand with Memorial Day, May 28, 2018
(Monday-Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm-Last tour 4:00 pm- Sunday: Noon – 4:00 pm Last tour 3:00 pm)

DeSmet, SD –
Memorial Society – Opened limited hours in January – April, expand to Saturday during May (Monday thru Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
Goes to 7 days a week June 1, 2018 (Monday thru Friday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Sunday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm)

Ingalls Homestead – Opened Memorial Day Weekend for regular hours 9:00 am – 7:00 pm every day with activities from 10:00 am -6:00 pm. 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 1, 2018 (Monday thru Saturday: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Sunday: 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm)

Malone/Burke, NY 
Opens Sat., May 26, 2018

Spring Valley, MN 
Open Daily starting June 1, 2018

Keystone, SD – Opened April 30, 2018

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.”

NOTE: The School for the Blind is in a state of upheaval. The regular school is moving to Council Bluffs to join with the School of the Deaf. If you want to tour, go as soon as you can.

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