Almanzo Wilder Homestead schoolhouse exterior
TV actors to join celebration at Almanzo Wilder Homestead
One-room schoolhouse to be dedicated in Burke on Aug. 24
A full-size replica of an 1860s schoolhouse will be dedicated amid a flurry of festivities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24 at the childhood home of “Farmer Boy” Almanzo Wilder.
Two very special guests are sure to get a warm North Country welcome: Lucy Lee Flippin and Dean Butler. They portrayed Wilder siblings Eliza Jane and Almanzo on the TV series “Little House on the Prairie.” Now a producer for DVDs, Butler has “come home” to the farm in recent years to film footage. His works include “Almanzo Wilder: Life Before Laura” and “Little House on the Prairie: The Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.”
“We’re expecting to welcome a huge crowd,” said Carlton Stickney, president of the Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association. “We’ll have a lot going on, from fun activities for children to self-guided tours of the grounds, music and food.”
Admission that day will be reduced to $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6 to 16. There’s no charge for those age 5 and under.
The ceremony for this newest addition to the Stacy Road homestead is set for 1 p.m., with author and Wilder biographer William Anderson serving as emcee. A popular visitor to the farm, Anderson will join Butler and Flippin in signing books, DVD, photos, etc.
Almanzo Wilder was born in 1857 and lived in Burke until 1875, when the family moved to Minnesota. He eventually met and married Laura Ingalls, whose book “Farmer Boy” is based on his childhood recollections.
The schoolhouse will be dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder and Eliza Jane Wilder, both of whom were one-room school teachers, and to all teachers. Also, a tree will be planted in recognition of all the children whose donations and school tour admissions helped build the schoolhouse.
This historic house is the only original house on its original site of all those written about in the Little House book series. About 3,000 visitors of all ages come from around the world each year to see Farmer Boy’s home. The farmhouse, barns and outbuildings are surrounded by rural landscapes and Trout River. There’s a gift shop and museum as well as a pavilion for events on the site. The schoolhouse fits in near the edge of the lot.