Tuesday, August 27, 2019

STEPPING BACK IN TIME by Marisa Masterson

The Internet is essential for me as I research. I love the many images and sites I find there. That said, my best research comes from stepping back in time.

I bet you'd like to know where I bought my time machine. While it's true that I can't and don't actually travel backward through time, I have been able to visit many historical places dedicated to helping me feel like I have. Some places I've visited are well known, like Colonial Williamsburg. Others are hidden gems run by local historical societies.

While writing my book A Farmer for Christmas, I relied on one such place. Tucked away in the rolling hills around Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Pioneer Log Village and Historical Society is a historical treasure. Open Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it boasts a collection of settler cabins that are authentic. These very old cabins were hauled from different sites in the state and brought to the Pioneer Log Village. Now, they aren't allowed to block the roads and haul the buildings, but in the 1940s and 1950s they could.

Rare puncheon floor
To preserve the history of the state, farsighted people gathered these cabins in one place so visitors would be able to see examples of homes built by ethnically different immigrant groups. There is a German cabin, a Swiss cabin, and so on. One of the things that so delighted me was the puncheon floor in Gluth-Kruse Cabin. I'd read about puncheon floors. Actually seeing one was an incredible opportunity and truly made me feel like I'd stepped into another time.
Gluth-Kruse Cabin
The cabins and other buildings, such as the church, are filled with wonderful antiques. In one, I remember seeing a collection of butter churns. Each was different and together showed how the butter churn evolved over the years. This definitely helped me, as an author, better imagine the lives of my female characters.
You might not be in Wisconsin, but I imagine there is a historical society museum near you. Often, volunteers who are a part of these groups give visitors a great hands-on experience with their local history. I encourage you to check them out.
For more information about Pioneer Log Village, go to http://www.rahspv.com/.

Children! Myra Smithson is tired of them. She didn't expect to be disinherited or to end up as her brother's unpaid nanny and cook. Thank goodness her matchmaker neighbor offers Myra a way out of the situation.Reinhold "Holder" Sittig knows he can't expect his terminally ill mother to care for his daughters. Following advice, he sends away for a mail-order bride. Too bad he forgets to mention his children in the letter.What happens after this Christmas bride discovers she's once again expected to be the unpaid nanny and cook? Will she find any tenderness from her stubborn German husband?



  1. How wonderful for first-hand research. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You're welcome. My cousin and uncle both volunteer at this fantastic place!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful History lesson! I really enjoyed it and I love that floor! I love seeing soldiers barracks and rooms in old houses and cabins all set up how they used to be, I love visiting places like that. Thank you so very much for sharing this article and the pictures. Your book sounds like a very good page turner, and it's a Christmas story, I Love, love Christmas! I Love the cover , it is Beautiful! Have a Great week. God Bless you.