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!


Happy New Year!

To everyone who enjoyed a posting, video, radio show, program or tweet from Trundlebed Tales, thank you for tuning in and I hope to bring you even more enjoyment in the coming year. Wishing you all the best. And a special thank you Half Pint Ingalls who tweeted this inspiring link.  (No, it’s not really Pa’s fiddle.)

Sarah S. Uthoff

P.S. Enjoy all the four dates that are 1s this year, starting with today 1/11/11.

Playing Pa’s Fiddle

In a piece that was first published in The Little House Sampler edited by William Anderson, Rose Wilder Lane wrote a story called “Grandpa’s Fiddle” where she talks about their last night in De Smet before beginning the trip to Mansfield. She has Laura saying that they’d never made it through everything while she was growing up without Pa’s fiddle and it is definitely an important part of family life as described in the “Little House” series.

Ann Cejka - Adult Laura Days Ushers Ferry
Ann Cejka – Adult Laura Days Ushers Ferry

Pa’s Fiddle and Fans

The music of Pa’s fiddle is also of great importance to fans of the series. When Barbara Brooks made a set of character dolls (the ones described in the only know recording of Laura’s voice) of the family, she chose to portray Pa playing his fiddle. Today Pa’s fiddle is one of the treasures on display at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri and it’s one of the most popular artifacts for Laura pilgrims. If you travel to Mansfield during Wilder Days in September, you are guaranteed a chance to hear someone play Pa’s fiddle in person. Lucky fans may also stumble over a performance at other times of year when the fiddle is played to keep it in shape.

Recordings of Pa’s Fiddle

If you can’t make it down to Mansfield, there are recordings available. There are two recordings of Pa’s real fiddle being played available for sale today. Laura Ingalls Wilder Speaks is available on cassette tape and CD. The first half features the only known recording of Laura’s voice and the second half features a soloist playing Pa’s fiddle. A Tribute to Charles Ingalls has Pa’s fiddle in what I can only assume is the world’s first Bluegrass symphony orchestra (there’s even a bagpipe in one song). It’s a wonderful CD I enjoy, but Pa’s fiddle does get a little lost in the crowd.

Pa’s Fiddle and Michael Landon

Pa’s fiddle playing is at the heart of the book series. However, that importance is not always carried on to adaptions of the series. They seem to find it difficult to find an actor who can even mime playing the fiddle well. In the Guthrie version of the Little House on the Prairie musical Pa’s fiddle remained on the wall and not in his hands during the music.

Michael Landon was much more convincing. I still get questions over whether or not he was really playing. Read a contemporary quote about Michael Landon’s efforts.

“As for Pa’s fiddle playing, it’s dubbed in. Landon even had trouble learning how to hold the fiddle but we can expect some fine acting….”

Find the quote in:

Van Horn, Gail. “Walnut Grove residents celebrate fall TV show go-ahead.” Messenger Independent. 5 June 1974: 3B.

UPDATE 2015: I did some editing and added the headings and the photo for the reblog.

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.