Carrie Ingalls Swanzey’s birthday celebration coming to Keystone

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 8:51 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Keystone to celebrate one of the people behind Little House on the Prairie’s birthday, Carrie Ingalls Swanzey. Jeanie Kirkpatrick, a member of the Carrie birthday committee, shares more.

“Carrie was born Aug. 3, 1870. Carrie came to Keystone in 1911 to manage the Keystone Recorder newspaper. The Keystone Area Historical Society has been celebrating Carrie’s birthday since 1983.  The reason 1983 is because that is when the historical society and  museum came to be.  Because Carrie’s birthday sometimes lands during the Sturgis Motorcycle rally her birthday celebration gets moved to another date,” continued Kirkpatrick. “Carrie did a lot for the community while she was living and even after her death.  Carrie helped save her church Keystone United Church of Christ.  One year the church was having financial problems and might have to close the doors.  So Carrie went around the town to obtain funds and because of this the church is still in use today.  In the late 1930s Carrie leased some of her land to the Keystone Fire Department so they could build them a station.  The building is still standing but is no longer the Fire Department.  She would have parties for the children at the school, as well as other things.  After her death Carrie willed her homestead near Philip to the Masons in Keystone, so they could sell it to build a Masonic Lodge.  She also donated the land that the Masonic Lodge was built on.  Carrie is buried in De Smet in the family plot, but Carrie made sure that all the headstones matched, her, husband, step-son, and her husband’s first wife. On Monday, July 26th we will start off with a potluck and Hoedown at the Keystone Community Center, 1101 Madill St.  Potluck at 5pm and music will start at 6pm.  On Tuesday and Wednesday July 27th and 28th we will be celebrating with Alison Arngrim Nellie and Charlotte Stewart Miss Beadle and William Anderon, Author.  On both days we will have a Spelling Bee with Miss Beadle and Nellie.  Also on both days there will be an autograph session.  You can bring something to get an autograph or there will be pictures and other items that you can purchase.  On Tuesday there will be a Little Miss Carrie look alike contest. Wednesday there will be a question and answer with all three at the Keystone Community Center.  Because Alison has a love for sock monkeys we will gather at the baseball field to try to have the largest amount of sock monkeys in one place.  A complete schedule can be found online at

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