Laura Ingalls Wilder Day – Field Trip

Sunday we decided to take my daughter to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Day. She has been wanting to go since we started learning about Laura Ingalls Wilder earlier this year. Laura Ingalls Wilder days was held at Heritage Hill Historical Center in Green Bay. The hype of this was the fact that the actors were there from the show Little House on the Prairie. I must say that I was really disappointed because one we really didn’t see the actors and two I wasn’t going to spend money just to get an autograph. The second reason was I expected it to be more. Really it was just like any other day at Heritage Hill. I thought there would be tents and a lot more hands on activities but there wasn’t. I don’t think we will go again next year. My daughter had fun so that is what matters.

We stopped at the first building. My daughter learned how to card wool. You take to brushes and you make the wool really soft. I don’t really think that this held her interest all that long. I was happy that she got up in there to try it.

We went into the house and my daughter had the chance to help with making pie crust. She had to mash the flour and I think it was butter or lard. She had the chance to do that until other kids walked in and we stepped away so that the other kids could try. I have never made pie crust that way so it was very interesting for her to have a chance to make it. They used butter that was made on the farm earlier. It was made at the cheese factory.

The cheese factory is where the butter was being made. I never expected them to have a smaller table top churn. I always pictured it to be bigger and made of wood. So I thought it was a pretty neat gadget to make butter. She had a bowl next to her as the process was to squeeze out the water and then put them in the wooden molds. We were going to stop back and watch the next process but the park was bigger then we thought and we never went back.

This is the Guard’s Office in Fort Howard. Fort Howard is a new addition to the grounds. When you first walk in you see the jail cells, and the outside has really high wooden walls. I never knew how much of a significance Fort Howard was. It was like a connecting point to Michigan, New York and I can’t remember where else for defense of the water ways. In the guard’s office there is a wooden bed. The wooden bed is so they don’t fall asleep. If you got caught falling a sleep on duty you were in trouble.

I can’t imagine what cooking was like back in the pioneer days. The heavy layer of clothes the heat of the summer and the heat from the fire must have been exhausting. It was very interesting to see just how things were cooked over coals and fire. When we walked into the officers wife’s kitchen she was making bread. I asked how it was cooked and she should me the round pan. She would then put it in a dutch oven with a cover. Coals would go underneath and on top of the lid to bake the bread. By the fire there was bread that was rising. You also see johnny cakes being made on a cast iron skillet over coals. My daughter has no idea what Johnny Cakes are so we may have to try to make some.

In another kitchen on Fort Howard my daughter had the chance to grind coffee and wheat berries. You could use the same grinder for both of them.

So when I said wheat berry were you thinking actual berries?? Oh come on…..admit you were….. I know my first response was….those aren’t berries….

The school house was going to have a spelling bee. We had about 20 minutes to wait for the class to start. My daughter wanted to stick around but we decided to keep looking around and come back later. Needless to say we forgot about. I thought it was interesting that they had slate by the slate boards. I looked at it kind of confused. I was like how are you going to write on a slate board with slate when they are both black. Well who knew…. you had to press hard and it scratched in the boards…. EEEEK at the sound it made…. I would go crazy writing on them boards in those days. Sound like nails on a chalk board….cringe…..

There was nothing special about this garden. I just really liked the scarecrows. Loved that they had a MR and Mrs…. it was to cute!! This was outside the Tank House.

This is a wigwam. Before I actually got to see the inside, I actually thought it was an Indian home. However, it was not an Indian home but a church. It actually looked pretty neat on the inside.

Our last exciting stop was at the Print Makers. My daughter was able to make a calling card with a Laura Ingalls Wilder Quote. On our way out we saw the fire station. Outside the fire station they were showing the kids how to make rope. Looks like it took two people to make and a lot of work. That was really neat to see.

As you can see from our visit this was just like an normal day at Heritage Hill. Would have loved to see a whole lot more with camps set outside, and more hands on things for the kids. Next year we will check out a different place for Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. The food trucks they had there could break the bank with the cost just to eat! Ridiculous pricing!

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