I’m Back! And a few Malone tidbits

Some math for you:

Traveling + wireless Internet access + brand-new laptop = an offline vacation

I’ve been on the road now for almost two weeks and I won’t be home for over another week. The Man of the Place is holding down the fort. And harvesting wheat. I’m writing now from Boston where my children and I landed after a whirlwind week of travel up the east coast, which culminated in a trip to Malone for the event celebrating the 75th publication of Farmer Boy.

If you haven’t yet walked the grounds of the farmhouse and barns in Burke, NY (the technical location), go. That’s all I have to say. Even though my day at the Almanzo Wilder farm was shared by hundreds of others, it never felt crowded. Amazingly, after a morning thunderstorm, the weather even cooperated and we had a lovely day of blue skies, warming sunshine and slight breezes. There is no other site in the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder that feels as pristine and untouched as the Farm. Ingalls Homestead comes close, but when you look around there, as lovely as it is, you know that everything you see was recently constructed. At the Farm, what you see is the actual structure that was there (albeit renovated).

Speaking of renovation, I had a lovely long talk with the Farm’s archivist, Betty Menke. From the moment of sale of the Farm to the Laura and Almanzo Wilder Association in the late 1980s, the renovation process was meticulous and well documented, particularly with photographs. The association hired a consulting company versed in historical preservation before they changed as much as one shingle. The space between then and the completion of renovations in the late 90s is a testament of patience and professionalism, where no step was taken without a solid plan behind it. As William Anderson and so many others have said, “They did it right.” 

I’ll post more on Malone in the coming weeks. I’m officially back and blogging now, so tell your friends. And thank you for your patience.

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5 Responses to I’m Back! And a few Malone tidbits

  1. Amy says:

    I can’t wait to hear more about this trip. Malone is one of the places on the LIW list that I haven’t yet been, along with Mansfield. (I’ve tried to go to Mansfield, but was turned back by flooding last summer. Looks like that might be the case this summer, too.) Glad you had a good time!

  2. Erica Randall says:

    Sounds wonderful!! Can’t wait till you blog more about Malone!!

    -erica-

  3. Erica Randall says:

    Sounds wonderful!! Can’t wait till you blog more about your trip to Malone!! What cities is it close to?

    -erica-

  4. Jonni says:

    The Farm really is a wonderful place, I’d love to hear (or read…hint!) more about the restoration process, what kind of research they did, how they motivated the volunteers, etc.

    It was great getting to meet you, Sandra!

  5. Connie Neumann says:

    You discovered the most magical places of all the LH sites: Malone! The two times that Mac and I have visited there, it was so enjoyable. And you’re right – you have to walk around the site, every bit ,including over to the Trout River and each barn and out into the fields to experience the place. I always felt it was perfectly restored to reflect Farmer Boy – one of the best sites for authenticity. Looking forward to hearing more and seeing your pictures soon!

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