Cabinetmaker Builds Replicas of Laura's Lap Desk

Sarah Uthoff has been in Pepin this past weekend for this year’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Days. In the event’s living history area is cabinetmaker David Johnson, who has built replicas of Laura’s lap desk. Readers of the Rose-penned introduction to On the Way Home, Laura’s diary of the weeks-long wagon ride from South Dakota to Missouri in 1894, remember the lap desk as the unlikely spot in which the family’s $100 bill was lost. (It was eventually found.)

Watch Johnson talk about the lapdesk in Sarah’s video.

Incidentally, a replica just like this one was offered for sale at LauraPalooza 2010. It sold immediately.

Posted in LauraPalooza 2010: Legacies, LIW-Related Items, On the Way Home, Rose Wilder Lane
10 comments on “Cabinetmaker Builds Replicas of Laura's Lap Desk
  1. Carole Nebhut says:

    And I was the lucky person who bought it!

  2. Sandra Hume says:

    Ah, I was wondering! How do you like it, Carole? Do you use it or just display it with your “Laura” stuff?

  3. Carole Nebhut says:

    I love everything about it–the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it smells, and of course what it represents. I keep assorted homesite-related notecards and stationary in it, and I occasionally use it when I’m paying bills, but it hasn’t found its real place yet among my Laura stuff. Someday, when I get that extra bedroom painted and reorganized and it becomes the Little House room…..

  4. Roberta from Germany says:

    Thank you so much for filming and sharing the interview. It was very interesting. I’ve always wondered where the $100-bill could have been hidden. So the craftsman’s suggestion was very much appreciated. I had never even thought of that place, but it makes sense, indeed.
    Having seen only photos of Laura’s lap-desk yet, it was great to learn about it’s many features and details, too: some storing-space here, a little secret space there… just gorgeous! It made me think of how it must have been when Almanzo made the original lap-desk for Laura.

    Actually I fell in love with this beautiful replica at once – even if I’m not a collector of LIW-related things. What a wonderful piece of craftsmanship!

    While watching the video on my laptop an idea rushed into my mind: So this were the laptops of Laura’s era… πŸ™‚

  5. Rachel Ingalls says:

    What a wonderful thing! I’d love to buy one someday πŸ™‚

  6. Dawn W. says:

    What a wonderful lap desk! Thank you for linking to the video. I see he doesn’t sell them on his website, but I’m hoping he’ll begin to do so! I would love to own one. It’s beautiful. (And Congrats to Carole for being the lucky one to get one!)

    • Sarah Uthoff says:

      While they aren’t listed, I’m sure if you use the contact information he’d be more than happy to sell you one of the replicas. I believe he has a couple ready to go, although not with the red felt.

  7. I will save my Christmas pennies and absolutely purchase one if he brings them to LP again this summer… πŸ˜‰

  8. David has several of these laptops for sale … I see them often when I am at Pepin for LIW days in September. Some day I will have the pennies to purchase one, as well. If you contact him, he could get you one. And could possibly make one with red felt if you “needed” it.

  9. I am still kind of kicking myself for not buying the beautiful desk THIS year at LP, as I told myself (and everyone here) I would…but, I have decided it would be best to do as Ma always recommended and save it to celebrate something special…so I am using it as further motivation to complete my next degree. So, when the book is done and the degree conferred, the lap desk is my present to me. You know, if I don’t go stark raving mad with envy first. πŸ˜‰