AUTHOR'S NOTE

I started my blog, Sites and Stories, to celebrate historic sites - the stories they tell, the stories they inspire. My posts often provide behind-the-scenes glimpses of places and themes featured in my books. I also write monthly for InkSpot, a group blog shared by some of the adult mystery authors published by Midnight Ink. There’s a lot here - have fun exploring!

My Blog Posts

kathleen ernst, sophie the cat, writing, undisclosed location


Below are descriptions and links to some of the recent postings on my Sites and Stories blog, to some of my posts on the InkSpot blog I share with other Midnight Ink authors, and to my posts on blogs where I have been a recent guest. Enjoy!

Pioneer Woman

Ponca City Oklahoma 27-foot tall bronze statue "Confident" sculpted by Bryant Baker installed 1930.  "What image does the phrase “pioneer woman,” evoke for you? That was the question posed in 1926 by E. W. Marland, a wealthy oil guy in Oklahoma, when he hired seventeen prominent sculptors to create three-foot statues depicting a quintessential Pioneer Woman settling the American West. From those, a winning design would be chosen and..."  more>>

Posted March 29, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

Seneca Falls

Statues of women suffraget leaders in the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, New York.  "The Seneca Falls Convention—the first open women’s rights convention in the US—was held July 19-20, 1848. Organizers wanted to discuss “the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of women.” The meeting launched the women’s right movement."  more>>

Posted March 20, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

Brick Bakeovens

Author Kathleen Ernst working as an interpreter at Old World Wisconsin circa 1983.  "After I posted instructions for making sourdough bread starter from scratch—just as Caroline Abbott might have done—several readers asked about the type of oven Caroline would have used. She and Grandmother used a brick bake oven. Women used..."  more>>

Posted March 11, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

Baking Bread With Caroline

Photo of sourdough bread-making ingredients. 

"When I was a kid, I read about a girl in colonial times whose family had kept a crock of sourdough going from generation to generation. I’ve been fascinated with the idea of making bread with sourdough starter ever since. Our great-great-grandmothers used..."  more>>

Posted March 9, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.


Pioneer Winter

Photo by author Kathleen Ernst of 1853 Fern Hollow Cabin in NE Iowa, owned by Liz Rog and Daniel Rotto.  "I’ve been reading a lot about winter lately. While working on a book project for the Wisconsin Historical Society, I’ve dug out a lot of primary accounts from European and Yankee immigrants settling in the Upper Midwest in the 1800s. Not surprisingly..."  more>>

Posted March 2, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

Norwegian Shingles

rosemaled wooden shingles Norske Museum Norway illinois  "One of the many wonderful things about taking a folkart class at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum is meeting fellow students. Last summer I met Lynn Sove Maxson, who told me about a wonderful project. Lynn is an active volunteer at the Norsk Museum in Norway, Illinois. The community, founded in 1834, marks the first permanent Norwegian settlement in North America."  more>>

Posted February , 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.


Winter in Mineral Point

Color photo of a stone cottage at Pendarvis Historic Site in Mineral Point, Wisconsin.  "Mineral Point, in southwestern Wisconsin, is one of my favorite towns. A lead mining boom attracted early prospectors. In 1829, the population of Mineral Point was greater than Milwaukee and Chicago combined! In the 1830s, experienced miners from Cornwall arrived and settled in. I’ve traveled to Mineral Point many times to visit Pendarvis, a state historic site that preserves the homes of several Cornish immigrants. But until recently..."  more>>

Posted February 6, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

An 1812 Gunboat

Exhibit artwork by David Kanietakeron and Peter Rindlisbacher.  "When I began planning the Caroline Abbott books for American Girl, I quickly decided to make Caroline’s father a shipbuilder. The war in the Great Lakes was largely a naval war, and I wanted Caroline and her family to be part of it. There was a large and well documented naval shipyard in Sackets Harbor, New York. Builders there worked on huge ships like the Oneida. I squeezed the fictional Abbott’s Shipyard just down the shore from..."  more>>

Posted January 20, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.

Postcard From Angela

Color photo of woven Hardanger heart hanging in author Kathleen Ernst's kitchen window.
 
"I received an amazingly wonderful gift a week or so ago when a postcard arrived in the mail. The postcard itself was from a copy of Midnight in Lonesome Hollow, one of my Kit mysteries from American Girl. It was forwarded to me from the publisher. I’d really, really like to write back to Angela, and tell her how much her words mean to me. Unfortunately, no return address was included. So this seems like a good time and place to..."  more>>

Posted January 1, 2014 to Kathleen's Sites and Stories blog.