Mary Ingalls ISBSSS Society Update Fall 2016

Below is a release from the Mary Ingalls Society in Vinton.

Mary Ingalls Ball
Mary Ingalls Glass Ornament

The IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society hosted a record 10 bus tours this summer and fall.  We also welcomed 120 Vinton-Shellsburg 6th grade students in May as well as many other groups and individuals.  The total is just shy of 900 people.  There are already tours pending for this coming summer.

Recent news of the possible sale of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School to the city of Vinton or some other entity has caused many of us to come to the realization this School which has been part of the community fabric for 154 years could cease to exist.   It has also made the IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society more keenly aware of the need to continue the work of preservation and cataloguing artifacts.  Many hours and several hundred dollars of archival storage and preservation materials have already been invested, but much more remains to be done.  Grant money has been secured to assist in these efforts, but they only partially cover what is needed.  The IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society’s membership and donations from concerned citizens provide the main source of funds and manpower needed to complete this task.

The Society is currently seeking new and renewed memberships (at $20.00 per year) as well as donations to continue our work.  Checks can be made payable to VCF/IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society and mailed to Box 326, Vinton, Iowa 52349.

If you have not recently been or have never been to the school for a visit, this would seem to be the perfect time to do so.  The school is much more than a lovely campus with well maintained grounds that you drive by without really thinking about.  It is an integral part of our history as a community.   Come and let us show you around.  You can arrange a time by calling 472-5200 and speaking with either Pat Barr or Yvette Baker. 

Thank you for considering joining the efforts of the IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society.

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ISBSSS Marks Cemetery Dedication

marker2

As part of its ongoing efforts to preserve, honor, and share the history of the Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School, the Mary Ingalls Society has identified a section of the local cemetery where students from the school were buried. They have determined the names of these students. As we previously reported, they raised funds for a marker. They successfully raised the amount and now the marker is in place. marker1

You’re Invited To Vinton

The Mary Ingalls Society cordially invites you to a memorial dedication of 11 former students of The Iowa College for the Blind in Vinton, Iowa.  A short committal service will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 1002 E 10th Street, Lot 31, Vinton.  These graves had remained unmarked until recent research led to the identity of the students buried there.  Thanks to the generosity of many donors, a granite monument and headstones will now mark their place of rest.  Local historian Rich Farmer will lead a cemetery tour following the service.  We would like to include the families of these students from Eastern Iowa listed below, but we need your help locating them:

Sarah A. Cook (Delaware Co.) 1864 (died)

Louisa F. Lunberg (Clinton Co.) 1869

Jesse Palmer Hampton (Linn Co.) 1875

James L. Mitchell (Benton Co.) 1876

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Adair (Jackson Co.) 1879

Mary Retta Rath (Linn Co.) 1880

George Washington Hopkins (Mahaska Co.) 1892

Buena Vista Culp (Washington Co.) 1892

Leo Vogt (Mason City) 1905

Mabel Lilie Carter 1915

Meta Christine White 1918

marker3
If you have any information or questions, please contact Pat Barr at Iowa Braille 319-472-5221 x1110 or email pbarr@iowa-braille.k12.ia.us.

August 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

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

Times 2016

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Keystone Area Historical Association always hosts an event on August 3rd, Carrie’s actual birthday no matter what day of the week it falls on.

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle WI

World of Little House – July 16 – August 7, 2016 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/calendar/event/4466/the-world-of-little-house

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  August 6-7, 2016 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Vinton IA

Mary Ingalls Society Pageant – August 5, 6, and 7 2016. The 7th will be a Sunday Maintee.

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Cultural Festival-Irish Fenian Festival – Saturday, August 27, 2016, 10 am-4 pm

  • Celebrating the Irish heritage of the area in the mid-19th century with food, music, demonstrations, and more, Fenian Raid reenactments. More details to follow.

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.

Report on New Project from Mary Ingalls Society

Bell Tower
Bell Tower

If you haven’t heard about it before the ISBSSS Mary Ingalls Society was founded to preserve and promote the history of the Iowa School for the Blind and its most famous alumnus Mary Ingalls (the sister of author Laura Ingalls Wilder). They maintain a museum on the site, offer tours, and put on a pageant each summer. Today they report on a new project. – SSU

IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society Reaches Their Goal

$6000.00 Fundraising Goal for the Lot 31 Project Met

In the 1800s a burial lot was purchased for the Iowa College for the Blind at the Evergreen Cemetery in Vinton, Iowa. Students were buried there through the end of that century, however no marker was ever erected on the site designating it was for students from the school or who they were. Six student names have been identified as being buried in the lot. Two additional students, who died in the early 1900s, have also been identified as being buried across the drive from the school lot. They also have no markers.

The Lot 31 Project was initiated in August 2015 by the Mary Ingalls Society to raise funds to purchase a headstone, have it engraved and installed on the lot plus two head markers for the students buried across the drive. The response of the community and friends of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School has been amazing.  As of 12/18/15 we reached the goal of $6,000.00, and work has begun to order the marker. Keep watching for updates on progress and a dedication date.

 

Mary Ingalls Society Calendar 2015

Calendar Cover
Calendar Cover

The Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School (ISBSSS) of Vinton, Iowa has never had a calendar of its own in its 153 year history, so the IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society is very excited to offer 100 numbered copies of this First Edition Calendar.  If this 2015 calendar does well there are plans to have calendars offered annually highlighting the school and its story.  Each calendar has beautiful colored pictures of the school’s campus and some bits of information about Mary Ingalls.

Front of School
Front of School

Calendar #1 of this First Edition will be offered for sale through a silent auction.  Bids can be made by calling the school 319-472-5221 Ext. 1110 or by emailing pbarr@iowa.braille.k12.ia.us. A beginning bid of $25.00 has been made. The lucky winner will be announced on February 9, 2015.

Calendars may be purchased in person on at the main office of the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School for $10.00 per calendar.  The office is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.  While you are there be sure to take a stroll through the Founders Room and at other artifacts displayed on the first floor of Old Main. The calendars will also be available through Vinton Unlimited office at 310 A. Ave.  Be watching for other locations in town to see and/or purchase these keepsakes. We hope you take the time to stop in either location to take a look.

Bell Tower
Bell Tower

To order by mail, e-mail to the address above and you will be contacted with further information. To cover mailing expenses, the calendars will cost $12.50 to be purchased by mail. Payment will be accepted by check only. Checks need to be made out to VCF/IBSSS Mary Ingalls Society, P.O. Box 326, Vinton, Iowa 52349. These calendars are a great reminder of the beauty of the school and the community that is its home.

Sign and front of school
Sign and front of school

The Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School Mary Ingalls Society was founded in 2012 to work towards preserving the historical significance of the school and its connection to the Ingalls family. If you haven’t yet, LIKE their Facebook page.

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.

 

Mary Ingalls Society Meeting Notes

The first annual meeting for the members of the Mary Ingalls Society was held December 8, 2014 in the Founder’s Room at the Iowa School for the Blind and Sight Saving School. The Founder’s Room was a room just to the right of the main entrance that traditionally held artifacts and memorabilia to the school. Past students describe getting a sense of being part of a proud tradition from this room. In recent years it had been taken over as an office, but in late 2014 it was returned to a historical display room and the main floor presence of the Society. Below are the notes reporting from that meeting.

MEMBERSHIP MEETING

MARY INGALLS SOCIETY

December 8, 2014

Our first membership meeting started at 7 pm with members Pat Barr, Carolyn Hibbs, Nancy Beckman, Nancy Baldwin, Mike Kelly, Barb Beau, and guest Don Eells.

Carolyn read an excerpt from a school journal dated December 1957. Student Judy Shank, who was a very active and talented gal who was involved in several activities on campus, wrote it. It made us realize how busy and engaged these students were. Mary Ingalls Sign Final

Carolyn then went on to review what has taken place with the society since our founding in 2012:

  • “A Conversation with Mary Ingalls”
  • Fundraising items: bookmarks, postcards, corn cob dolls
  • Our first pageant
  • Tours in 2013 & 2014
  • Grants received through LOST funds
  • An original line drawing of Mary to use as part of Mary Ingalls Society signs and advertising
  • New signage outside the school

It is our hope to have more volunteers. Don suggested asking people is more effective than waiting for them to come forward.

Carolyn and Nancy Beckman are working on the next script for Pageant 2015, adding a couple of scenes and doing some tweaking of the existing script. The next pageant will be held July 31, August 1 and 2 in 2015.

A calendar using historical photos of the Braille school was discussed as a fundraiser. Two copies were shared; one in black and white and another in color. We hope to do this in 2015. Size was discussed as well as color or black and white? Don suggested having them numbered and possibly adding quotes.

We would like some publicity to encourage the public who may have had some connection or tie to the school to loan or donate items to be on display. We recently received cookie cutters and a recipe for oatmeal cookies from the family of one of the bakers.

A lot of brainstorming and dreaming took place. Don asked if we had considered having a tea? The setting in the Founders Room would be very appropriate. We are so delighted to have that room that really reflects the history of the Braille school. Don also suggested the possibility of collaborating with the Art Guild and could picture art on the lawn as well as musicians and even hot air balloons!

The meeting concluded with a tour of the 3rd floor museum. It is definitely a gem in the rough. We have our work cut out for us!

Barb Beau

Find the information to join or renew here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/mary-ingalls-society-renewal-2014-2

Mentions July 2014

trading card 2014Our mentions posts are round ups of articles and mentions of Sarah Uthoff or Trundlebed Tales in the media from the previous month, plus sometimes some bonuses that I’ve just come across from earlier months.

Pepin Laura Days has launched a new website. They have included a PDF of me.
Sarah Uthoff

“Signs declare IBSSS as Mary Ingalls site.” I’m pictured with the Mary Ingalls Society board in the Cedar Valley Times.
http://www.communitynewspapergroup.com/vinton_newspapers/article_a517020a-137f-11e4-b5b8-001a4bcf887a.html

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.