AirBnb in Walnut Grove and Other Lodging

If there is one thing that would make Walnut Grove a better place to visit, it would be for there to be a good place to spend the night in town. Traffic would be slow most of the year I think, but June, July, and August would be bursting at the seams. It would be good for the town also since spending a night in a place statistically increases the amount of money you spend there which helps keep businesses that support tourists going. Having a place to stay lined up as early as possible is a key to a successful Walnut Grove visit.

Sign and depot building at Laura IngallsWilder Museum in Walnut Grove
Walnut Grove Museum

Lodging Options

Most of the “Walnut Grove” lodging options take you out of town. Personally for many years I got to stay with Shirley Knackmuhs who ran a sort of free bed and breakfast for Laura people, but sadly those days are gone. See comments on where else I’ve stayed at the bottom.

(Personally I’ve often wished that some of the same laws that cover temporary hotels or camps in Europe were in effect here since from what I’ve seen on travel shows they have a lot more leeway for setting up temporary options. I could easily see “rooms” set up in a barn or even some of the public buildings in town if health/fire regulations easily allowed it — but as it they don’t.)

AirBnb

Walnut Grove as a community have recognized this need for lodging and have struggled with a way to meet it. A definite step in the right direction is the addition of two AirBnbs. The one that’s already listed on the museum’s lodging page is Half-Pint’s Hideway and allows you to rent an entire 3 bedroom house.

The second one which I think will soon be listed there is Little Room on the Prairie which is a double bed in a single bedroom.

There were several others listed in the surrounding area which I hadn’t known were available until I did a search for this post. So they would be another option.

Honestly I have issues with AirBnbs for economical and civics reasons I won’t dwell on here, but with them in Walnut Grove I’ll probably be swallowing my principles and staying in one sooner or later. I have to admit that in the specific situation of a town with a focused short run of tourism each year most of those reasons I have for objecting don’t really apply and for Laura towns this might actually be a great choice for the owners/hosts, the towns, and the tourists.

Personal Experiences

Within the last 5 years I’ve stayed at two hotels in the immediate area around Walnut Grove. The Wilder Inn, which had nice rooms even if they were small, but, since I’d grayed my hair, forced me to take a cold water shower. (I think it was a temporary problem because I haven’t heard that complaint from other people although staff were sparse on both information about what was happening and on concern that I didn’t have any hot water.) However, the speed in which you could get to and from Walnut Grove made the inconveniences worth it and on that account alone I recommend it highly if you can get a reservation. Understand what the Wilder Inn is though. It’s one of the second generation of motels (in between the stand alone tourist cabins my grandparents honeymooned in and the single level hotels with doors that opened right to your parking spot that were just starting to age out of my youth – if you want to see either they have a great display of them at the Henry Ford). It’s been upgraded several times since then, but that’s its bones so don’t expect more than it can give. I’d also recommend grabbing breakfast at the Subway across the street in Tracy if it’s a big attendance day in Walnut Grove and at Nellie’s in Walnut Grove if it isn’t.

I also stayed at the motel in Springfield, Minnesota which is 25 miles from Walnut Grove. While you could see it had been built as a nice hotel (for the size and area) it really hadn’t been kept up and is off the Walnut Grove lodging page. I liked the town though. I was sorry the hotel hadn’t been kept up. Since it’s no longer listed on the lodging page I mainly mention it because the distances are listed on the lodging page and Springfield was 25 miles away. I ended up wanting something I left back in the room and just one added trip seemed to take forever and that’s someone who’s always lived in the country so I’m used to driving. The closer you can get the better.

I have stayed in several of the hotels along I-90 when I was driving part way to Walnut Grove and staying over to get an early start in the morning, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you’re planning on coming back to Walnut Grove the next day OR if you’re planning on staying for the pageant.

Camping

I’m not really a camper, but if you have a tent and like to camp or an RV it means that you can get some of the closest places to stay in any of the Laura towns. So if that’s an option for you, seriously consider it for most Laura towns especially Walnut Grove, Minnesota and Burr Oak, Iowa where there really aren’t any/many other “in town” options.

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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Annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Shopping Guide 2018

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 eighth year I’ve put together a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan shopping guide. Check the first post for basic gift ideas. 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. If you are buying from Amazon, make sure you go into Amazon Smile and they’ll donate part of cost to your selected charity – select a Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite.

If your favorite Laura fan is planning a trip to Walnut Grove this year, consider buying them pageant tickets. Next year they are having a cast reunion in honor of the 45th anniversary of the NBC Little House on the Prairie TV show. The tickets are available for 2019 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. You don’t have to buy pageant tickets to attend other reunion events, but the pageant will include a question and answer session with all of the attendees. 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.)

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! Most of the presents that I suggested in 2011 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , 2016, and 2017 are still available so take a look at previous shopping posts for more ideas.

Welcome Back to Favorites

Independence China Shepherdess 2018 – Photo courtesy of Little House on the Prairie Museum
Walnut Grove China Shepherdess 2018 – Photo courtesy of Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove

UPDATED December 11 2018: Somehow I missed that Walnut Grove also has a china shepherdess again. I’ve updated the text and added their photo.

Last year I pointed out a couple of favorite things that weren’t available then. I’m pleased to tell you that both things are back. Last year the multi-site calendar didn’t make the cut off for Christmas. They didn’t get it out in the spring like they hoped, but it’s out now. The De Smet Memorial Society puts them together with photos from the 5 sites that work together. I haven’t seen it yet – it wasn’t out for my fall trips – but I’ll be putting in an

China Replica
Mansfield Shepherdess – Photo courtesy of Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum

order soon.

The other big return is a china shepherdess replica. I was shocked when all three of the homesites that were selling different versions had stopped due to separate production issues. This year three  sites have each introduced their own new version of the shepherdess. They cost about the same. Check them out on both the Independence and Mansfield’s websites.

HarperCollins

Cover of new edition of Little House Cookbook in front of a Xmas tree
Little House Cookbook – New Edition

After rolling out several new editions last year, HarperCollins only has one new release this holiday season. They’ve rolled out a new edition of the Little House Cookbook. The new edition is hardback and replaces the hardback version that has been available since 1979. Its design follows the new edition of a trio of books in the series released last year with an introductory essay by a famous woman. The design of the text is different and the Garth Williams illustrations have been replaced by full color photographs that are lovely, but I’m fairly confident they weren’t done by a historic cook. A lot of focus is put on these photographs that are either full page or 2 pages. The book is printed on half-chalked paper (which is in vogue for all kinds of books right now for some reason) which is traditionally used to give a better surface for photographs. The photos are lovely. I should warn you that the use of chalked paper also makes the book much heavier than you’d expect. The paperback version will continue to follow the design established in 1979 by the original hardback edition and themed to the gingham covers version of the books which came out in the early 1990s.

Last year HarperCollins released the audiobooks, as recorded by Cherry Jones, as digital downloads for the first time. Slowly throughout 2017 they re-released the simplified chapter books, such as The Adventures of Laura and Jack or the most appropriate Christmas Stories, with brand new covers. Six of the simplified picturebooks, illustrated by Renee Graef, were newly collected and published as one volume. It’s called a Little House Picture Book Treasury. Finally, they also put out The Little House Book of Wisdom, a collection of quotes from the series.

Queen’s Treasures

When Friendly Films and their Little House on the Prairie TV show started authorizing products again one of the first things licensed was a set of dolls and accesories for a Laura doll. They have everything from a covered wagon to all the minature equipment you need to fill it up. You can outfit your doll in a typical pioneer dress or in one based on Laura’s good dress from the TV show. This fall they rolled out a second doll so now you can purchase both Laura and Mary.

Some Homesite Highlights

Honey Bear and Maple Syrup Cabin Containers
Pepin Label Honey and Maple Syrup

Pepin rolled out several new things this year. One of the most exciting to fans of the “Little House” picture books is that Pepin now is selling high quality prints of Renee Graef’s illustrations. There are several and appear in different sizes. Another cool thing is that they are now selling private label honey and maple syrup.

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt, An example of their limited ed t-shirts

It’s nice to be able to have options other than the standard t-shirt for Laura fan clothes. Walnut Grove has just rolled out long-sleeve t-shirts which is a new option and some new sweatshirts. Next year you want to check in with Walnut Grove around July. They’ll have new things for the reunion and even if you can’t go you can buy some fun swag! Be on the ball though because last time they sold out of reunion shirts early.

De Smet Memorial Charlotte in Blue Dress
De Smet Memorial Charlotte – By Aunt

If you read Laura Lore, you’ll have heard that the long time maker of Charlotte dolls for the De Smet Memorial Society retired. Her niece has picked up her needle and is now once again making Charlotte dolls using De Smet’s original pattern. If you have one by the aunt (or 2 or 3), then it’s time to get a new version.

Also, if you’re familiar with the series of china ornaments they’ve made (one per book plus one for Rocky Ridge and an older Laura), they’ve introduced another ornament with a younger

A photo of young Laura on a china ornament
Photo Courtesy of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society

portrait of Laura to fit more with the De Smet time period of Laura’s life.

Mansfield still has some really cool items left from the anniversary. I especially like their anniversary magnet. They have a new design for the “I Love Laura” pin and a few new products featuring a line drawing of Rocky Ridge farmhouse.  


Harvey Dunn, nephew by marriage of Grace Ingalls and internationally known artist and illustrator, is best known for his connection with Manchester, the next town west of De Smet. The South Dakota Art Museum houses the largest collection of Dunn’s work. (It’s well worth your effort to stop in Brookings on your way to or from De Smet.) They have just released a reprint of Where Your Heart Is: The Story of Harvey Dunn, Artist. This current edition is available exclusively from the South Dakota Art Museum store.

The Ingalls Homestead, who developed the idea of wood crates to create a box set for the hardcover books, also has a wide range of products and some great news about shipping. Associate the Homestead with the covered wagon rides? They have a beautiful ornament of a covered wagon. Remember how excited Laura was about her Santa Christmas presents she got from Mr. Edwards? At the Homestead you can order tin cups with two sticks of peppermint, the heart shaped cakes and even a penny! A unique gift is squares of Ingalls Homestead homemade soap. They also have a wide selection non-Laura books of prairie/pioneer related subjects.

Spring Valley is a smaller site, but they work on having unique things in their giftshop. One area they have a big selection in is the American Girl aka 18 inch size doll clothes. They are locally made and not mass produced. Colors may vary.

Doll Clothes from Spring Valley

While we’re talking about “18-inch dolls” aka “American Girl Doll Size”, Thimbles and Acorns has been printing dress patterns for specific dresses. There are publications of various lengths and with patterns around various themes. Most of the homesite giftshops have them now.

Malone has rolled out a new way to shop this year. You can buy items in a Facebook shop. Their new item is a collectable fundraising ornament. Their local rotary every year picks a different charity to create an ornament as a fundraiser. This year’s features a photo of the farmhouse.

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.

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 17, 2018

De Smet SD

Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
Online Store
Phone 1-800-880-3383
Last Day for Priority Mail – December 20, 2018

Ingalls Homestead
Online Store
Phone: 1-800-776-3594
Last Day for Priority – December 20, 2018

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 20, 2018

Malone NY

Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Farm
Online Store
Facebook Store
farm@almanzowilderfarm.com
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

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 – Didn’t give a date

Burr Oak IA

Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum
Online Store
Last Day for Priority – Didn’t give a date

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 10, 2018

UPDATED December 11 2018: As I mentioned above I had to add about the Walnut Grove shepherdess and I caught a typo and fixed it.

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.

News on the Masters Hotel in Walnut Grove

Original Masters Hotel in Walnut Grove during June 2017
Original Masters Hotel in Walnut Grove during June 2017

A couple of years ago the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, Minnesota purchased the former Masters Hotel right across the street. This was the original masters Hotel that Laura talks about in Pioneer Girl before they move to Burr Oak, Iowa.

Looking in Through the Windows of the Walnut Grove Masters Hotel
Looking in Through the Windows of the Walnut Grove Masters Hotel in June 2017

It was purchased with the idea of restoring it, but once money was raised and the process begun it was determined the building was too far gone. They tore it down and decided to focus attention on the Master Store/Meeting Hall Building next door which it is believed Pa helped build.

Read more in this article by Kathleen Miller Brandt

http://www.ncppub.com/pages/?p=8470#more-8470http://www.ncppub.com/pages/?p=8470#more-8470

New Article

Brandt also shared with me another article and gave me permission to share it here:

Eleck Nelson Early settler of Walnut Grove

By Kathy Brandt

Some people spend their lives chasing fame, while others never have a clue that they will someday have a claim to fame. That was certainly true for Eleck Nelson, an early settler in the Walnut Grove area. Eleck Nelson was born on September 29, 1846 in Gran Kommune (Parish), Oppland fylke, Norway. This coming Saturday would have been his 172 birthday. He died on July 15, 1931, and he was the oldest resident as far as the number of years living in Walnut Grove. Eleck came to Redwood County in the 1870s, and according to information found on Ancestry.com,did not file for the patent on his homestead until 1881, because his intent to become a citizen was not filed until then.

In 1871, he married Olena. The family settled in North Hero Township, where at least several of their children were born. Their seven children were: Annie (the Anna Laura Ingalls Wilder mentioned) who was born in 1872 and died in 1890, Mary, Fred, Albert, Samuel, Julia and Hjelmer. Little did he know in 1874, when he stepped in to help new neighbors, Charles and Caroline Ingalls, that he, Olena and Annie would go down in history and would forever be famous in a book and a television series.

Eleck Nelson seems to have been a colorful character. According to family notes on Ancestry,com, he sold the farm in 1892 and purchased 80 acres just north of the Walnut Grove town site. He held many positions in the next several years. He owned a butcher shop, and, it is believed, employed his friend Charles Ingalls, who had returned to Walnut Grove following their time in Burr Oak, Iowa. He also opened a saloon, worked as a stock buyer and dealer, was a supervisor for North Hero Township, was a rural mail carrier, served on the Walnut Grove village board for ten years and served as the mayor for four years.

A big story is told that one night Eleck got extremely drunk. The city constable was going to shut down Nelson’s saloon and take Eleck to jail. But someone had warned Olena, so she came into town with the horse and wagon, got Eleck into the back of the wagon because he was too drunk to sit on the seat up front, and she took him home before the constable could get to the saloon. Olena died in 1921, and was buried close to daughter Annie on the eastern edge of the North Hero Township Cemetery. Sometime after Olena died, Eleck began to keep company with a “woman of ill repute” from Tracy. Things got so bad, that the village actually passed laws that mainly pertained to her and her presence in town. Finally, the sheriff was able to “run her out of town on a rail” and she apparently never came back.

Eleck Nelson died in 1931 and was buried beside his wife and daughter in the North Hero Township cemetery. Six years after his death, he was made famous when his old neighbor’s daughter, Laura Ingalls Wilder, immortalized some of his family in her book about their years in the Walnut Grove Area, On the Banks of Plum Creek. Eleck didn’t seek fame, and certainly didn’t expect to be made famous. His tombstone tells the story of a simple man, an immigrant, a pioneer, a farmer, a husband and a father. A simple man to the end.

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.

After the Flood by Bill Richards

As you are probably aware SW Minnesota suffered bad flooding in early July. I reported about it on July 7th and July 9th. Now the pageant has sent out an update and I’m republishing this here with permission.

Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN
Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN

After the Flood by Bill Richards

After the flood, Noah floated quite a while before landing and restarting civilization. Mucking out the ark after nearly a year must have been very educational. The water here has drained away in most places. Though we didn’t get 40 days of flooding, we did get more than enough to require a thorough cleaning after the muddy water receded.

Flood water is not selective. Like most, the Wilder Pageant site lost items of value as well as things that should have been tossed years ago. With the volunteer help after the flood, the site was cleaned and organized better than it had been in years. Expenses due to water damage will increase expenses by almost $10,000 when completed. Overall revenue was down by half. The $30,000 plus loss has been cushioned by generous donations of over $15,000 to date.

Like a bull session after a tough season, the Wilder Pageant Committee gathered last Monday night to take a look at the past and to prepare to move towards the future. Dressing rooms, secure costume storage and the Livery Stable corner of the stage were among the items that need repair and replacement. Another “Little House TV Reunion” is in the works spearheaded by the Wilder Museum. This will require another tremendous effort as did the 2014 event. Road construction on Highway 14 and flood-damaged roads may require added signage to help people navigate.

New members were welcomed. The past year of goal setting was briefly reviewed. From the 100 plus suggestions, the top 29 were evaluated for need, cost and potential for accomplishment. Changing the name of the pageant, added rain insurance and package deals for tour operators were not endorsed. Upgrading restrooms, adding more events for families, improving seating at the site and discounted tickets for the community were referred for further study.

Some items have been accomplished. We have new committee members, set three-year terms for the board, costumed the set crew and brought in $12,00 through various grants. Increased social media presence, improved communication with area businesses and creating and funding an executive manager position are ongoing.

It was a good session with fresh ideas and a sense that there will be a pageant at the end of the rainbow next year.

 www.gofundme.com/wilder-pageant-committee

 walnutgrove.org/index.html

Wilder Pageant
PO Box 313
Walnut Grove, MN 56180

888-859-3102
507-859-2174

pageant@walnutgrove.org

Walnut Grove Pageant UPDATE July 9 2018

Redwood County is officially declared a disaster area.

TO: Media Outlets
RE: Plum Creek is Down – WILDER PAGEANT is UP!
DA: Monday, July 9, 2018
FR: William Richards (507-828-6616)

The Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, will be ready with added performances Thursday through Saturday on July 12-13-14 and July 19-20-21. Flood damage from the July 3rd downpour forced cancellation of the past weekend’s performances.

FLOOD RELIEF NIGHT $5!: Persons from selected communities that have experienced flood damage will have general admission tickets this Thursday night, July 12th, reduced from $18.00 to $5.00. General admission tickets will be sold to anyone with a driver’s license from Tracy, Balaton, Currie, Walnut Grove, Wabasso, Slayton, Westbrook, Lamberton, Storden, or Jeffers. This is a $13.00 discount. Children with the license holder will get the same discount. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The story of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family overcoming adversity is also your story.

A FLOOD OF VOLUNTEERS: A tremendous crew of over sixty people worked for hours during the weekend to repair roads, pressure wash mud, and clean sets and costumes. Somethings washed away—and others were damaged beyond repair. By Sunday evening, power was restored, roads graveled, and most equipment and sets were back in operating order. Director Erin Richards said, “The help has been fantastic! The hard work of cleanup has transformed a bleak landscape into an outdoor theater site ready for our many Laura Fans!”

THE WILDER MUSEUM is open and running normal hours. The Family Festival is on track for its Saturday events, including the Laura and Nellie Look-a-Like Contest. The Wilder Dugout site is still inaccessible due to flooding. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant is an outdoor drama depicting the early years of Laura Ingalls and her family, set in the backdrop of the town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota, on the banks of Plum Creek.

GO FUND ME: A crowd funding site plans to be operational by Wednesday to help defray costs from storm damage. The Wilder Pageant has incurred a number of expenses for site electrical repair, sound equipment, damaged costuming and props, lots of gravel for road and site, repair of special effects, and the loss of our first two performances due to flood damage. The costume and dressing rooms are in need of repair and possible replacement. The Wilder Pageant Committee Go Fund Me site will accept donations at: http://www.gofundme.com/wilder-pageant-committee

WILDER PAGEANT FLOOD RELIEF NIGHT $5!: Persons from selected communities that have experienced flood damage will have general admission tickets this Thursday night, July 12th, reduced from $18.00 to $5.00. General admission tickets will be sold to anyone with a driver’s license from Tracy, Balaton, Currie, Walnut Grove, Wabasso, Slayton, Westbrook, Lamberton, Storden, or Jeffers. This is a $13.00 discount. Children with the license holder will get the same discount. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. The story of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family overcoming adversity is also your story.

walnutgrove.org/index.html

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

Walnut Grove Pageant Works Towards Recovery

Footbridge at Dugout Site Surrounded by Flood Water
Footbridge at Dugout Site Surrounded by Flood Water

TO: All Media Outlets [ For Immediate Release]
FR: William Richards (507-828-6616) Media
DA: July 5, 2018
RE: Wilder Pageant Rebuilding after Big Flood on the Prairie

On July 3rd, nine inches of rain and over three feet of churning Plum Creek swept parts of the set and staging away at the Wilder Pageant site forcing cancellation of this weekends performances. The water is receding leaving mud and holes. Pageant cast and crew have been quick to repair and restore road access and electrical and other services to allow for cleaning and repair.

The Wilder Pageant production, “Fragments of A Dream” about the early life of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Walnut Grove, will add Thursday performances to the next two weeks schedules to provide opportunity for people who were unable to see shows this weekend. The Family Festival will be on for the next two Saturdays and Pageant suppers will be offered on all pageant dates.

Plum Creek Flood Waters Receding
Plum Creek Flood Waters Receding

Volunteers have been cleaning, washing, rebuilding and checking out all sound and light systems to get the show back on track for the next six performances. Roads in the area have been flooded so it is best to check on which roads to use to get to Walnut Grove and the pageant site. The Wilder Museum is in full operation but the Laura Ingalls Wilder Dugout site is not available due to significant water damage to the road. Contact either the Wilder Pageant (888-859-3102) or Wilder Museum (888-528-7298) in Walnut Grove or access the web site at  http://walnutgrove.org/index.html

Costumes in Storage Trailor
Costumes in Storage Trailer

From Erin Richards, director of the Wilder Pageant: “The waters have receded and the land is drying up. It is now time for clean-up. The pageant committee has set clean up times as follows: Friday, 5:00-9:00 p.m; Saturday, 1:00-5:00 p.m.; and Monday, 5:00-9:00 p.m. We will be setting chairs at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. It is still muddy and very dirty out there so closed toe shoes or boots are a must, boots are best. We have gloves available for your use. Gravel has been put down but be careful where you park. Masks are also recommended as some areas are very ‘fragrant’ with mold and mildew. If you bring young children, you need to watch them at all times as we don’t know what’s been left over from the flood such as objects or contamination. Thanks for all continued support! You are all wonderful.”

If you are in the area and can help—please do!

http://walnutgrove.org/index.html