Saturday, June 20, 2009

July Dates for Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant

Looking for something fun to do this summer? How about traveling to De Smet, SD to take in the annual Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant!

According to the pageant's website, over a hundred volunteers work together each year to present a family-friendly drama based on the writings of Laura Ingalls Wilder. This year will be The Long Winter (my favorite of all the Little House books).

The 2009 dates are as follows:

July 10, 11, 12
July 17, 18, 19
July 24, 25, 26

There are also pre-show activities. The website also includes a page on the history of the pageant and a photo gallery.

Step back in time to when the West was being settled by pioneering men and women like the Ingalls family.

For more information about experiencing De Smet, South Dakota, visit

Friday, June 19, 2009

Harvey Dunn Memorial Event Planned

The Brookings Register has reported that the first Harvey Dunn Memorial Plein Air event takes place Friday, August 14 through Sunday, August 16 at the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota.

For more information about this event visit or call the South Dakota Art Museum toll free at 866-805-7590. Most of Dunn's best known work is housed in the museum.

Dunn is best remembered for a series of South Dakota paintings known as his "prairie paintings". The above photo is Dunn's "The Prairie is My Garden". Dunn is one of South Dakota's most famous artists because his "prairie paintings" have come to symbolize the state's early history. The Dunn family was acquainted with the Ingalls family, and Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, John E. Miller wrote a book titled Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town: Where History and Literature Meet, which discusses how Wilder captured prairie life with her words and Dunn with his art.

Survey results

Last month's survey results didn't surprise me at all. Over 50% of our readers said they would be purchasing Melissa Gilbert's autobiography, Prairie Tale. Gilbert has been making the rounds of TV and radio interviews to promote the book. It is getting great reviews and is currently #1 on in three subcategories of Biographies and Memoirs.

Dean Butler came out and endorsed the book at his blog this week. I haven't bought it yet and I'm not sure if I am going to. While I never expected that Melissa Gilbert is any more perfect than the rest of us, there are just some things I would rather not know about a girl who I grew up watching on TV, whose TV family I wanted to be a part of. I'm not sure I want to let go of that fantasy yet.

You can find some reviews of Melissa's book at:

Entertainment Weekly



Thanks for participating in our survey. Look for a new survey soon!

Dean Butler to Appear in Sioux Falls, SD

Argus Leader Media has reported that Little House on the Prairie's Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder) will be on hand at The Washington Pavillion of Arts and Science on June 27, 2009 to kick off sales for Little House on the Prairie: The Musical, which will be playing at the Great Hall in June 2010.

As most people know, Melissa Gilbert, who portrayed Laura Ingalls Wilder on Little House on the Prairie has been cast in the role of Caroline (Ma) Ingalls in the musical.

Gilbert also released her autobiography this month. Prairie Tale is available at

Butler will also sign autographs and discuss his time on the show. Additional activities include: rope making, prairie hairstyles, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant Performers. Please visit for more information.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Patrick Labyorteaux on iCarly

Twitter is a wonderful thing! It allows you to follow what is going on in the lives of your friends, colleagues, and business associates. It's also a neat place to read about your favorite celebrities' current projects. Of course there is that whole ghost tweeter controversy, but it's still a fun place to be.

I follow some of the Little House on the Prairie actors who are there, and Patrick Labyorteaux, who played Andrew Garvey, has been sharing about his upcoming appearance on iCarly.

iCarly is a show on Nickelodeon starring Miranda Cosgrove and Jerry Trainor, both of Drake & Josh fame. Cosgrove plays Carly Shay, the minor sister of Spencer (Trainor), who runs a webshow with her two best friends, Freddie and Sam, played by Nathan Kress and Jennette McCurdy. Spencer is an artist who makes the most offbeat sculptures and also Carly's legal guardian. They live in an apartment building in Washington state. Freddie and his overly paranoid mother, Mrs. Bentson live next door to Carly. Not quite sure where Sam lives, but she has a deadbeat mother who is often referred to in the show, but is never seen.

Not quite Little House on the Prairie, but it's a funny show that my girls enjoy.

It's great to hear that Patrick is going to be on such a popular show. No word on the airdate yet, but hopefully we'll see Patrick on iCarly soon.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I recently received this note from Dean Butler, Almanzo Wilder (LHOP, NBC). I'm very excited about these potential projects and will be supporting Dean and Legacy Documentaries in any way I can.

Message from Dean:

I wanted to thank all of you for your support of ALMANZO WILDER: LIFE BEFORE LAURA. Thanks to all those who have purchased it. For those who haven’t the DVD is available at the Wilder Homestead in Burke, NY. You can order the DVD on-line at

Beyond Little House, American history has always been something that interests me, so I’m pleased to announce that I’m going to be producing other documentaries that feature American heroes and patriots. The idea is to make these stories come alive for young people in particular and hopefully inspire them to make a difference in the world and in our country. I’m also more than pleased to tell you that I’m working on a production paradigm that would deliver these “slice of history” DVDs to school children for about the cost of a Happy Meal or a paperback book!

Some of you out there are teachers and parents and you certainly have an interest in the education of children… I would love to hear from you. Which of the following titles do you think would have the most appeal to 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students and teachers? Here are some of the ones under consideration:

Tom Savage – early Colonial period - a young boy from England who, at 13, stowed away on a vessel leaving London for the Virginia colonies. He was traded to the Powhatan Tribe in exchange for a Native American boy. Tom provided valuable information about Native American culture (as well as information about the likelihood of attacks) to the colonists.

Benjamin Banneker – Revolutionary War era - a Revolutionary War patriot and an African American freeman who aided in the design of the Capitol. A man of great accomplishment, Banneker wrote a famous letter to Thomas Jefferson, advocating the abolition of slavery. A child prodigy, Banneker was also an astronomer and published an almanac.

Sybil Ludington – Revolutionary War era - At the tender age of 16, Sybil Ludington, daughter of an American military leader, took a midnight ride longer and more dangerous than Paul Revere’s famous ride, to warn the colonists that the British had invaded Danbury.

Spy Kids of the American Revolution – Revolutionary Era - Dicey Langston and John Darragh are only two of the young people who were used as spies and messengers during the American Revolution. The fact that they were mere children meant they were often overlooked by adults and therefore were valuable messengers... though it was dangerous work. John Darragh, 14, would listen in on the British officers who took over a room in his parents’ house. His mother would sew information into his coat buttons so he could deliver “intelligence” to George Washington’s army. Dicey Langston, 15, often overheard neighbors and loyalists talking about troop movements. When she heard that the British were planning to attack her brother’s militia, she ran to warn them, swimming though the Tyger River in the middle of the night to do it.

Elizabeth Blackwell – Pre Civil War - the first woman doctor in America. After being rejected by over 20 medical schools, Elizabeth was finally admitted to Geneva Medical College as a prank. But she stuck it out and graduated first in her class in 1849, despite the fact that she was forbidden to attend certain anatomy classes which were deemed improper for a lady to attend.

Maggie Walker – Post Civil War -A community leader and civil rights advocate born in 1867, Maggie was the first woman (and an African American) to start a bank in the United States. Despite the recent economic downturn, the bank she started is still in existence today.

Other titles under consideration are the more familiar ones: Betsy Ross, Martha Washington, Pocahontas.

So this is your chance to help design the future of my venture into American History! Write to me and let me know which titles interest you the most. Feel free to suggest other names as well.

Please respond to dean(at)legacydocumentaries(dot)com.

For anyone who has not purchased Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura, I encourage you to do so. It is absolutely wonderful and would make an excellent addition to anyone's Laura Ingalls Wilder collection. You can read my review here.