Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Little House on the Prairie Red Schoolhouse Day

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 mwisch@lakeconnections.net.  Thanks to all the adults who helped for teaching these kids about “back in the day”.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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