Friday, October 17, 2008

Video Tour of the real Little House on the Prairie

The "Little House on the Prairie" homesite in Wayside, Kansas, has received extensive coverage in the media over the last week due to a lawsuit filed by Friendly Family Productions against the site. The small nonprofit site is located on the land that historians have determined to most likely be where the Charles Ingalls family settled in 1869-1870. Carrie Ingalls was born here on August 3, 1870. Laura wrote about the family's stay here in Indian Territory in her book entitled Little House on the Prairie.

The premiere movie "Little House on the Prairie", starring Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert, which later became the popular television series, is based on this novel. The Friendlys claim that they purchased all rights for television, as well as for merchandise. However, the Kansas homesite owns the registered trademark "Little House on the Prairie" for clothing and toys. The Friendlys attempted to purchase the trademark but the homesite did not wish to sell it. Now the Friendlys are sueing for damages and for all the money the site has made from use of the name.

The site has no admission fee but operates on donations only, and reportedly brings in barely enough money to make ends meet.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl
, has just added a video tour of the Little House on the Prairie site. We encourage you to stop in for a visit if you are traveling through Kansas. The site is located off Highway 75, thirteen miles southwest of Independence, Kansas.

If you wish to help defray the homesite's legal costs involved with this lawsuit, you may send donations to:

Little House on the Prairie, Inc.
Box 110
Independence, KS 67301

We hope this case will be quickly dismissed, and the Little House on the Prairie can continue to bring pleasure to Laura's fans for many years to come.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Meet William Anderson, Wilder scholar

William Anderson, well-known "Little House" historian and the author of many Wilder-related publications, will speak in Junction City, Kansas, Sunday October 19, at 1:30 pm.

The event will begin with fiddle music by a local musician, followed by Bill Anderson's presentation on the life and works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Anderson will sell and sign some of his books after his talk.

This program is sponsored by the Dorothy Bramlage Public Library in Junction City, KS, but will be held at the Junction City High School auditorium, located at 900 North Eisenhower. The event is free, but tickets are required, and can be picked up at the library anytime during regular hours at 230 West Seventh.

The library currently has a Wilder display featuring items on loan from the Wilder Home in Mansfield, Missouri, as well as two autographed "Little House" books. Stop in before October 31 to see this exhibit.

For more information, contact Patty Collins at (785) 238-4311 or

Friday, October 3, 2008

Save America's Treasures: Rocky Ridge Farm

The visit paid by First Lady Laura Bush earlier today to Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri, turned out to be more than just a visit. Mrs. Bush awarded the museum a certificate designating it as an official Save America's Treasures project. This will make it possible for the museum to apply for grants to assist in preserving the Wilder home and artifacts for the generations to come.

For more information on Mrs. Bush's visit and the museum's long-term preservation goals, watch the following two local news videos. (Please wait a few seconds for the advertisement, and then the news brief will begin.)

KY3 news video

OzarksFirst news video (KOLR)

Ingalls Family and Friends Picnic -- Florida

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive here at Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl is, "Are there any descendants of the Ingalls family still living today?" Laura's daughter Rose Wilder Lane was the only biological grandchild of Charles and Caroline Ingalls to survive infancy, and she had no surviving children, therefore if referring to Laura's immediate family, the answer is no. (Note: Carrie did have two stepchildren, and there are surviving descendants of her stepdaughter Mary.)

However, there are many descendants still living of some of Laura's cousins, and now you have an opportunity to meet some of them!

For a few months in 1891-1892, Laura, Almanzo, and Rose lived in Holmes County, Florida, with Peter Ingalls and his family -- "Cousin Peter" from Little House in the Big Woods and The First Four Years. Another cousin, Joseph Quiner Carpenter (not mentioned in the books, but he is the son of Ma's and Aunt Eliza's sister Martha) also owned land nearby.

Peter's grandson still owns the family land in Westville, Florida, and a historical marker commemorates the site where Peter's home formerly stood.

The third annual Ingalls Family and Friends Reunion Picnic will be held on the Peter Ingalls farm from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, October 18. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Peter Ingalls will be in attendance. You are welcome to attend this picnic, see the historical marker, and visit with other Laura fans and the Ingalls family.

While in the area, you may also wish to visit the Mt. Ida Church where Laura and Almanzo attended, along with the Peter Ingalls family. Beside the church is the cemetery where Peter, his wife Mary ("Molly") and one son, Alex, are buried.

For more information, including directions to the farm, please contact John Bass at

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dean Butler and Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura

The new documentary, Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura, produced by Dean Butler of Legacy Documentaries, has been officially released on DVD.

The DVD is sold exclusively by the Wilder Farm in Burke, New York, and can be ordered online at Almanzo's General Store (you'll want to check out the other items available for purchase there, as well!) or by phoning the Wilder Farm at (518) 483-1207.

The price is $21.95, plus a shipping and handling fee.

Cheryl Malandrinos of the Laura's Little Houses blog has conducted an interview with Dean Butler about this documentary, as well as his experiences with the television show and the literary world of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Click here to read the full interview.

Dean Butler was also featured on the Ryan Lindsay show which aired September 25. You can listen to this interview online at Blogtalk Radio. (Wait through the brief advertisement that will appear when you click this link; the show will begin immediately afterward.)

For those who pre-ordered your DVD, you will be contacted by the Wilder Farm sometime in the next week or two for payment information.