State Historical Society conference in Sioux Falls to feature Laura Ingalls Wilder, latest society book

PIERRE, S.D.—Ten contributors to a new book on Laura Ingalls Wilder will be featured at the annual South Dakota State Historical Society History Conference to be held at the Holiday Inn Sioux Falls—City Centre, April 28-29.

“Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder,” edited by Nancy Tystad Koupal, gives fresh insight into Wilder’s success as the author of the Little House series. The book and the conference, themed “Laura Ingalls Wilder: A 150-Year Legacy,” commemorate Wilder’s 150th birthday, which was Feb. 7.

Throughout the event, authors William Anderson, Caroline Fraser, Michael Patrick Hearn, Elizabeth Jameson, Sallie Ketcham, Amy Mattson Lauters, John Miller, Paula Nelson and Ann Romines will discuss topics ranging from Wilder’s collaboration with her daughter Rose Wilder Lane to her influence on our image of the frontier and her lasting place in children’s literature.

Noel Silverman of the Little House Heritage Trust, who has worked with Wilder’s writings for more than 45 years, will give a luncheon address, expanding on his interview with Koupal that appears in “Pioneer Girl Perspectives.” A Friday night reception will include renditions of Pa Ingalls’ fiddle music and other songs of the era played by the Sergeant Creek Stringband.

“There is a lot of interest in this conference,” said Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society. “We have people registered from 20 states so far. That shows how popular Laura Ingalls Wilder still is.”

Conference sponsors include Cutler Law Firm, LLP; The First National Bank in Sioux Falls, the History Club of Sioux Falls, Koch Hazard Architects, the Pioneer Girl Project, Sanford Health, and Woods, Fuller, Schultz, & Smith P.C.

Advance conference registration can be completed at history.sd.gov or by calling (605) 773-6000. The early registration deadline is March 31.

“Pioneer Girl Perspectives: Exploring Laura Ingalls Wilder” will be available to the public for $29.95 on May 18. Advance book purchases can be made at the conference. “Pioneer Girl Perspectives” can also be preordered online at sdhspress.com or by calling (605) 773-6009. Find more information about “Pioneer Girl Perspectives” at pioneergirlproject.org.

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About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit www.history.sd.gov for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.