Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Auspicious anniversaries!

While cleaning up the house today I came across some papers that I acquired in July in Hastings. I put some of them up here for the convenience of anyone who is interested in reading them.

An obituary of Martha Delano, also known as Cousin Mat.

Historic LeDuc Simmons Estate brochure.

Hazel Jacobsen's Tour Guide of the LeDuc House.

"From Here to Antiquity," an article about Carroll from a 1985 Mpls / St. Paul Magazine.

There may be more coming; I still need to sort through my archive. So stay tuned.

A fun, if somewhat random, note: 130 years ago today, President Hayes came to visit Hastings. One of Nellie's aunts was involved in planning the reception for the President at the LeDuc house. (No pressure there!) Carroll kept a framed 1878 newspaper article detailing Hayes's visit in the LeDuc for many years.

An equally noteworthy event: exactly one year ago today, this website went live! *insert wink here* Thanks to everyone who has visited it over the past year. There's one snafu in the foreseeable future: Google Pages is turning into Google Sites later this year, and although the site should stay live through it all, the address to it will probably change. Sigh. I'll let you know on this blog when/if it does.

On Saturday September 27th I'm going to be at the LeDuc House for the Second Annual LeDuc-Simmons Country Market. Like last year I'll be bringing my Carroll Simmons informational board, but this time I'll also be a vendor. I'll be selling notecards and prints of my digital photography, as well reproductions of some Victorian postcards. (Finally, proof that I do have other non-Hastings related hobbies!)

As always, thanks for taking the time to visit this site. Let me know if you find any errors. See you in September!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Carroll!

Wow, I had a fantastic trip to Hastings this past week. I learned so much about the family and made some invaluable connections with some really interesting people. I am also proud to say that I won the Hastings Unsung Hero award for putting this project together. My mother and I have been joking that I am an Unsung Hero Who Is Extremely Sung, because everybody that I have gone to for information has been so kind and generous with their time and resources. If putting the history of the Pringle and Simmons family online means being a hero, then being one is incredibly easy and quite a lot of fun!

Thank you, everybody. I really cannot express my gratitude in writing. Like I say on the website's Acknowledgments page, "Thank you all so very very much for the experience of a lifetime."

Anyway, because of the media attention, I'm expecting a bit more traffic at the website over the next couple of months. There are so many people out there who know so much more than I do about Carroll and his family, so once again I ask, if you find anything on this website that is incorrect or simply misleading, please let me know and I will do what I can to fix it. I will be puttering around fixing some things by myself, so if things are changing mysteriously around here, that's why.

Today is Carroll's 105th birthday. It was exactly seven years ago today that I made my first concrete plans to come to Hastings! What a wonderful journey it has been. I hope to be in touch with you all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some housekeeping

Just so everybody knows, today I put up a family tree of the Pringle and Simmons family here. All hail the power of Photoshop! I've spent many a conversation trying to clear up the fact that Mary Jane Hudson, Mary Hudson Pringle, and Mary Hudson Simmons were all different people. Although it can be difficult to keep everybody straight, hopefully this family tree will help. Not all of the names are on there, of course - I would need a lot more space for that - but the people that appeared most frequently in the letters are included.

Plans for the celebration of Carroll's donation of the LeDuc to the Minnesota Historical Society continue to move forward. A tentative panel of speakers has been assembled that includes ten or fifteen of Carroll's surviving friends and acquaintances. I am definitely looking forward to hearing their stories. If all goes well, everything will be recorded and transcribed.

The following dates are important ones:

July 11, 7:00 pm - Tribute to Carroll Simmons - St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Hastings. This event will include music and a discussion of Carroll's life and work. (I've been asked to write the script for that, so wish me luck that I can do my remarkable subject justice!)

July 16, time TBA; July 17, time TBA - We Remember Carroll Simmons - LeDuc House, Hastings. A two-night panel discussion where Carroll's friends and family discuss him and his work.

July 18, 19, 20 - Fine Antique Show, Sale, and Appraisals - LeDuc House, Hastings.

I plan on being at all of these events, so if you stop by, I'd love to see you. I plan on bringing along my trusty poster-board that discusses Carroll's family and career, so be sure to take a look at that.

Lastly -

Please, friends, continue to get the word out about this website. Keep checking back for updates. And please please please email me with your thoughts, comments, and ideas. If you come across any obvious - or not so obvious - errors, please let me know so I can correct them. I'm anticipating more traffic here over the summer as Hastings celebrates Carroll's legacy, and I want to present as much factual information about him and his family as possible.