During The Long Winter, the town of De Smet runs out of food. And the limited amount of seed wheat that the Wilder brother still had was not enough to feed the entire town, they were not able to get any more food, the town would starve.
So in the book, both Almanzo Wilder and Cap Garland decide to go and get the wheat that was rumoured to be available at a farmer’s home many miles outside of town in order to buy it and bring it back to the town so that the townspeople would not starve.
This chapter seems to be entirely true, at least the part about them going and getting the wheat. The farm that Almanzo and Cap went to was 12 miles outside of town, but that was a great deal of distance to cover when there was an immense amount of snow on the ground, and the horses would have been struggling to get through the snow as well as falling through. Not only that, they were having to make the trip in between blizzards, and hope that they didn’t become caught on the open prairie by a blizzard and freeze to death.
The remaining part of the story about the two young men getting the wheat, there is also the part of the story, also told from Almanzo’s perspective, about what happened at the store when Mr. Loftus was selling the wheat, which was also recounted in both the Long Winter and Pioneer Girl.
Both parts of the story about getting the wheat as well as selling the wheat in town seem to be completely accurate according to Laura’s memory presumably Almanzo’s too. Both events were recounted in her original Pioneer Girl manuscript.
For more on the Long Winter, the book The Beautiful Snow recounts the Long Winter using Laura’s memoirs and books, as well as historical accounts such as from newspapers published during that hard winter for more context about the events during the hard winter conditions of 1880-81 in De Smet and other communities suffering from the same hardships.
- Cindy Wilson (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 376 Pages - 02/07/2020 (Publication Date) - Beaver's Pond Press (Publisher)