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Highlights Archives

It's Laura Ingalls Wilder Day in Wisconsin


By gubernatorial proclamation, Governor Jim Doyle has designated Tuesday, January 19, Laura Ingalls Wilder Day in Wisconsin, just ahead of the premiere of Little House on the Prairie, The Musical at Madison's Overture Center for the Arts. Wisconsin Historical Society staff members were on hand this afternoon at a news conference announcing the six-day run of the show, in part because of a collection of letters in the Society's archives — letters written by Laura Ingalls' mother and other relatives before the future author was even born.

Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Wisconsin Historical Society

In conjunction with the show, the Wisconsin Historical Society has provided a reproduction of one of the letters, written by Laura's mother Caroline Ingalls to her sister on October 6, 1861. In it she describes an outbreak of scarlet fever that nearly killed Laura's grandmother and two cousins. She also discusses the family farm in Concord (Jefferson County, Wisconsin), prices for crops, her marriage, health and the activities of various relatives. Michael Edmonds, head of digital collections and web services for the library and archives, opened the news conference and shared the importance of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books to Wisconsin history before presenting a reproduction copy of the letter (pictured above) to Melissa Gilbert, who portrayed Laura for 10 years in the Little House on the Prairie television series. Gilbert now plays Caroline Ingalls, better known as "Ma," in the musical, which runs through Sunday.

A Little House Hootenanny Free for All

Wisconsin Historical Museum staff will also be on hand Saturday, January 23, for a Little House Hootenanny Free for All from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Overture Hall Lobby. The free event is open to the public and will include butter- and yarn-making demonstrations by the museum's staff, 1880s games, square dancing to live music, storytelling and much more.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Day at Old World Wisconsin

Laura Ingalls Wilder fans should be sure to mark Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, on their calendars. That is when Old World Wisconsin stages its perennial favorite special event, Laura Ingalls Wilder Day Plus Farm Power. It gives youngsters an opportunity to step into a day in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Dress like her, try her games and chores, and help do Ma and Pa's chores.

:: Posted January 19, 2010

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