The Little Red Schoolhouse of Larsmont was established by Swedish and Finnish settlers in 1914. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a location available to rent for events. One of these events was the “Little House on the Prairie Red Schoolhouse Day”.
Spearheaded by Amy Poe, the idea originated when her daughter Graciah had a Little House-themed birthday party. Poe spent many hours at the Little Red Schoolhouse as a young girl for community picnics and 4-H meetings, and has fond memories of the location.
The goal of the event was to teach children about a day in the life of a pioneer, and it was organized by a group of local homeschool families. Food was served from recipes found in the book Farmer Boy: hot cakes with homemade apple syrup, pork and beans, beef stew and Johnny cake, butter making, and hand-churned ice cream.
Attendees got to try archery and making handcrafted items – small braided rugs, knitting, crochet, colorful rag garlands, nine-square quilts, button lamps, and more. Parents and grandparents hosted the various tasks or skills, while children participated dressed in pioneer-era clothing.
Many of the families in attendance have read or are reading the Little House on the Prairie series to learn about Minnesota history and pioneer skills that Laura Ingalls Wilder documented in the books.
Iken Pearce, one of the young people in attendance said, “The archery was fun, amazing, and spectacular! Jim [one of the adults helping] did an excellent job training us! It almost felt like we were there [in pioneer times].” His brother, Ernie, said, “I enjoyed the archery. The pancakes were so good, and I liked the candy!”
Benji and Jonny S. shared that they enjoyed eating pancakes and homemade ice cream, and their sister Sarah enjoyed the old-fashioned candy.
Another young person in attendance, River Schneider, said, “My favorite part was learning how to crochet. I made a Christmas garland with bells. It can go all the way down my hallway at home.” Her brother, Ferran, said, “I liked when I got to shoot bow and arrows!”. Sister, Akeley, commented “I liked that my cousins got to come with us. And all the food was yummy.” Another sister, Finland, said “I liked playing school house with all the big girls. I loved all the old [time] candy.”
Hilda K., a young girl who participated said, “I had so much fun doing archery that I’d like to get a bow for Christmas!” Hilda’s mom, Mary, commented “It was fun to see the children delight in such simple activities from a simpler time.”
Those families in attendance had so much fun that they hope to make “The Little House on the Prairie Red Schoolhouse Day” an annual event on the last Saturday in October.
To rent the schoolhouse for your event, contact Marlys at email@example.com. Thanks to all the adults who helped for teaching these kids about “back in the day”.