(This is continued from Betsy-Tacy Days in 1961 and Betsy-Tacy Days in 1961, Part 2)
Mankato Free Press reported on October 9, 1961:
‘Betsy-Tacy Days’ Draw Huge Crowds of Children
Enthusiasm for the Betsy-Tacy books and their author rose to a high pitch Saturday afternoon when a veritable flood of children rushed from their guided tours of the books’ locale to the Mankato public library.
It was here that the popular writer of the Betsy-Tacy books, Maud Hart Lovelace, held court, autographing the many copies purchased by local school children. She also took time to chat with some of the parents present, at least 450 in all.
Hostesses at the library included Isadora Veigel, head librarian, and her staff and A.A.U.W. members Emma Weicking, chairman for the afternoon, Signe Sletten, Mrs. Al Roehl and Mrs E.J. Halling.
The Blue Earth county librarian, Gilford Johnson, also assisted in receiving the youngsters who assembled in the children’s room. Attracting attention was the bride mannekin [sic] at the door, “Betsy,” in her wedding finery complete with veil.
Circulating in the crowd were six little girls in costume—Lydia Sorenson, Kathy Frahm, Margaret Hanson, Cindy Cooper, Janet Burns and Marla Sugden.
A highlight of the afternoon’s festivities was a coffee party given by Mrs. Fred Marlow at her home, 332 Center street, the original “Tacy” house, where over 50 guests stopped.
Mrs. Marlow was assisted by Mrs. Orville Schwankl and Mrs. Harold Dickmeyer in entertaining the elementary teachers of Mankato who led the children’s tours and the old-time friends of Mrs. Lovelace.
Adding interest to the Betsy-Tacy days were the displays of old-fashioned dresses and furniture in Brett’s store windows created by John Turner, and many from out of town admired the antiques exhibited at the Blue Earth county museum on Saturday and Sunday. General chairman for the “days,” which drew a much larger attendance than expected, was Dr. Anna Wiecking. (From Mankato Free Press, October 9, 1961)
Six girls had been chosen to dress as Betsy, Tacy and Tib for the weekend. “Nadine Sugden had much to do with finding the six girls to be Betsys and Tacys,” said Kathryn Hanson. “We had two redheads for Tacy, Cindy Cooper and Janet Burns, but we needed another one age 5 or 6. One day driving home on Willard Street, Nadine saw a cute little redhead, so she went to the house and asked her surprised mother if she could be included. After some checking, Mrs. Paul Frahm was convinced that no harm would come to Kathy, so we were set. I remember that my daughter, Margaret, wore my mother’s confirmation dress and Marla Sugden wore another dress of my mother’s. The girls sat in the front seats at Lincoln School auditorium for the Saturday morning program and Saturday afternoon at the library.
Margaret Hanson who was 10 years old at the time and recalled that she was fascinated with Maud’s discussion of creating characters at the Lincoln School program. “I remember Maud said Tony wasn’t based on one person like so many of them were,” said Margaret. She also remembered being at the home of Bert and Inella Burns on Byron Street for the pictures of the six “Betsy-Tacys that appeared in the paper. “I was wearing my grandmother’s confirmation dress and I was thrilled every time I got to put it on,” she said.
The Blue Earth County Museum featured a turn-of-the-century exhibit. In 1961 the county museum was housed in the Hubbard House on South 5th Street. The curator, G.S. Petterson and a special committee selected articles from the museum and got others on loan that were in use during the period of the stories, from about 1897 to 1917. Maud loaned some personal items for the exhibit, such as pictures of herself, and her family and friends, and a Japanese version of a Betsy-Tacy book. Even the steam whistle from the “Big Mill” was on display.