Dakota Gatorade

Haymaker’s Punch, Switchel, or Ginger Water?Perhaps we of the 21st century would liken it to Gatorade, Dakota-Style. I’ve tried it many times in many recipes. It’s a startlingly pleasant yet curious concoction which some might call “an acquired taste.” 

Call it what you will, but here’s a little background on this go-to refreshment for hardworking farmers in the heat of summer. Just ignore the part of the article that tries to claim no one had ice.If the events in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s FARMER BOY are any indication, I think those “Wilder boys” would vehemently disagree: 


http://www.free-times.com/restaurants/switchel-up-your-summer-sips-052516

Just How Cold Was It? 

17 February 1936: The coldest temperature recorded in South Dakota history. 58 degrees BELOW ZERO, at McIntosh, SD.
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder would, a few years later, immortalize a different weather system, known as the Hard Winter of 1880-1881, in her book, THE LONG WINTER. In that book and others, Dakota winters were described as experiencing temperatures in the -30s or -40s (Farenheit); sometimes, she said, the thermometer would simply freeze and no longer work at all.
In this age of central heating, snow tires, fiberglass insultion, Polartec  cold-weather gear, and satellite weather forecasting, extreme temperatures of that nature will still make us shudder. Imagine facing an air temperature of -58F  without our modern comforts, and compounded with the reality of food and fuel being in very short, often sporadic, supply. I’m willing to bet even the bison (what few remained on the High Plains at the time) felt their dense wooly coats weren’t quite adequate.

By the time of this 1936 event, Wilder had long since moved out of the state, but her sister Carrie (Ingalls) Swanzey was living 242 miles to the SW of McIntosh, in the somewhat milder Black Hills region at Keystone, South Dakota. I hear from the folks at the Keystone Historical Society that winter in the shadow of Mt. Rushmore is certainly snowy, and at times blustery, but nothing compared to the legendary whiteout blizzards of the Hard Winter. Perhaps someday this New Hampshire native (who’s shoveled a fair amount of snow and chipped countless inches of ice off her driveway over the years) will brave a little jaunt to Dakota in one of the months that ends in -uary. Maybe.

Stay warm!

‘Farmer Boy’ site earns Literary Landmark™ designation

It is official! The Almanzo Wilder Farm, birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real-life Farmer Boy (and husband of 64 years), Almanzo James Wilder, is now designated as a Literary Landmark. The honor will be commemorated this summer at a special ceremony, Saturday, 11 July 2015. Special guest, and reknown Wilder biographer/historian William Anderson will be in attendance. Read more here:

Adirondack North Country Blogger

The apple trees were in full bloom last May. They may be a little late this year. Photo by Connie Jenkins The apple trees were in full bloom last May. They may be a little late this year. Photo by Connie Jenkins

Here’s some great news about one of my favorites places: Wilder Homestead in Burke, N.Y., just outside of Malone.

When Wilder Homestead, the childhood home of Almanzo Wilder, opens for the season on May 23,  it will begin a new chapter of activity, connections, and very special recognition as a Literary Landmark™ – the only of all “Little House” sites to earn this designation. A ceremony is in the works for Saturday, July 11.

Thousands of people from around the world flock to this site in northern Franklin County each year to get a glimpse of rural life in the 1860s as well as to follow in young Almanzo’s steps. Laura Ingalls Wilder told the story of her husband’s childhood in the beloved children’s book “Farmer Boy,” the second in the…

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Mrs. Wilder has a Fair Time at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition: San Francisco, 1915

This Friday marks the Centennial of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco, which opened 20 February 1915. Fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder will recognize this as the fair which she attended while on an extended visit with her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was living in the Bay area at the time.

Laura’s explorations at the Fair were preserved in the form of many letters and postcards to her husband, Almanzo Wilder, who necessarily stayed home to mind the farm. These letters form the basis for a posthumously-published work, West From Home. Wilder also used her visit as fodder for a series of articles in The Missouri Ruralist, a farm journal for which she had been writing since 1911.

http://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Panama-Pacific-fair-changed-San-Francisco-forever-6080573.php#/0

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I found this leather-bound reporter’s notebook, embossed with the PPIE logo, in an antiques store in Meredith, New Hampshire in 2010 for a mere $3.00. The notebook contains a small pencil-loop on the right side, and retains over half of its original blank paper. The exterior measures approximately 2″ wide x 3-1/4″ high and 3/8″ thick.

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Two blank souvenir postcards from the 1915 PPIE in San Francisco, located at a group antiques dealer shop in Concord, New Hampshire in 2014. The images featured are the Machinery Palace (top) and The Palace of Liberal Arts (bottom).

Pioneer Girl is out!

Without further delay…PIONEER GIRL is here! (…and it’s Annotated…) Let the rousing discussions, debates, and reactions of knee-jerk-disbelief begin!

The Pioneer Girl Project

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThank you to everyone who pre-ordered Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography from the South Dakota Historical Society Press. We are glad to say that the books will be arriving on your doorsteps in the next few days.

On Friday, November 14, the long-awaited Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography made it safely to our warehouse. As pallets of boxes were brought off the semitrailer, sod-house-like structures began to form and Press staffers Lisa Nold and Rodger Hartley quickly lost their sense of time and place.

However, they soon gathered themselves in preparation for the big sendoff beginning DSCF0259November 17.  That Monday, as if jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself were looking over our shoulders, box upon box was packed with care to be sent off across North America. The project of packing pallets to be shipped to our national and international distributors and bookstores had also begun. Boxes were hauled from one…

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Slate reviews the long-awaited publication of Pioneer Girl.

In anticipation of the (Finally!) soon-to-be-released Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s circa 1928-30 memoir-cum-manuscript which became the basis for her “Little House” children’s series, Slate has offered the following glowing review of the long-awaited publication, edited and annotated by a team from South Dakota State Historical Society Press, spearheaded by recent Wilder biographer Pamela Smith Hill.

In 2010, Hill was a featured speaker at the first academic conference of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association (lovingly known as “LauraPalooza”: go to http://www.beyondlittlehouse.com for information about the upcoming conference in Brookings, South Dakota, July 2015). She is particularly known as the author of 2007’s insightful Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Writer’s Life. Hill has spent the last several years combing through archives and artifacts of various Wilder homesite museums, state archives, Wilder’s papers at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library, and compiling some details from the research of a bevy of additional sources, including several independent researchers’ previous publications.

In addition, Hill is currently teaching the first-ever open-access online college course devoted solely to Laura Ingalls Wilder. Offered via Missouri State University and the Canvas Network, and entitled Laura Ingalls Wilder: Exploring her Work and Writing Life, the 8-week course was offered free of charge and attracted thousands of enrollees; it concludes 1 December 2014.

Pioneer Girl is currently available via pre-order from South Dakota State Historical Society Press (www.pioneergirlproject.org) and the various homesite museums devoted to preservation of Wilder’s legacy, including:

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Tourist Center, Walnut Grove, Minnesota:
(www.walnutgrove.org/store/
or call 888-528-7298)

and
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, De Smet, South Dakota: (www.discoverlaura.org).

I ask that, as fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, you remember that where you make your purchase matters. Your purchase made directly through these museum and archive outlets will benefit the museums and archives most directly related to the Wilder legacy; purchases from the giant corporate behemoth retailers do not. So, if you want to make certain your purchase will benefit the places which protect the integrity, conservation, and very survival of the vast collections of Wilder papers and artifacts, please purchase directly from one of the Wilder homesites or the SDSHS Press.

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2014/11/little_house_nonfiction_laura_ingalls_wilder_s_memoir_pioneer_girl_reviewed.2.html

Discovering Almanzo Wilder: Rachel McMillan Guest Blogs

Newly-minted Laura fan Rachel McMillan guest posts on blog of longtime Laurati, Melanie J Fishbane. Obsession with the Manly One ensues:

Melanie J. Fishbane

Rachel McMillan and I met through social media. We’ve travelled in the same circles for a number of years, but didn’t physically meet until this past summer when I finally was like, “Dude, you write, I write. We like the same things. We should have food and drink together”–although I probably didn’t use “dude” but I’m sure she would approve.

Since then we’ve explored Niagara on the Lake, Leaskdale, and Norval, and talked about Maud, Dean Priest, and–yes–Almanzo Wilder. Watching Rachel discuss re-reading the Little House series on Facebook and then falling in love with Almanzo Wilder was not only delightful, it also reminded me of my past posts on the subject and what I hope to discuss this summer in Laurapalooza (if they love my proposal enough and if the money all comes together.)

daisy and rachelRachel  works in Educational publishing in Toronto. She is an aspiring author and spends a lot of…

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