Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Could I be the next Carol Ryrie Brink?

It seems like a long time since I wrote about our short vacation to Alma, Wisconsin, in 2009. So, I thought I should remind you where we were at before plowing in. My husband and I spent just a few days at the vacation home of one of his friends. It was a short peaceful trip with a wonderful view of the Mississippi River out the living room window.

July 28, 2009 – This morning we made the trip back to Pepin so we could go through the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. They had some interesting stuff, and again I was afraid of getting sucked into the whole Laura thing. But I controlled myself, didn’t buy a thing.

Forty minutes later we were Laura’ed out, so we started for home. But as it turned out, another writer waited down the road.

Just in time for lunch, we discovered the Caddie Woodlawn Park. During the Civil War, Caroline Woodhouse, who was known as Caddie, was raised in this area of Wisconsin. Years later, her granddaughter, Carol Ryrie Brink was orphaned and came to live with her grandmother. Caddie told her all kinds of stories of life on the Wisconsin frontier. In the 1930’s Carol wrote a book, “Caddie Woodlawn” about her grandmother’s adventures.

On the property, was an old log cabin, along with the Woodhouse family home. Also, buried on the site in an unmarked grave was one of the Woodhouse children. Of course, it didn’t take long for my sexton husband to find what he was sure is the burial site. He walked across a little patch of different grass and a slight depression in the ground and knew someone was buried there. He tried to get me to coax me over it too, but I said that I believed him. Despite Himey’s gruesome observation, it was an interesting place.

Think anyone will every put a wayside park on the site of my childhood home? Someday I will have to tell you the story of the house where I grew up.

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