Author Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Wilder Memorial Society Honored by
Hampton Hotels’ Save-A-Landmark® Program Restoration Effort
Memphis, Tenn., June 12, 2008 - – Renowned author Laura Ingalls
Wilder, best known for her “Little House” series of novels, penned five
of her narratives about her childhood home in De Smet, S.D. Wilder’s home,
which has been under the care and preservation of the Laura Ingalls Wilder
Memorial Society (http://discoverlaura.org/ ) since her death in 1957,
will receive a much-needed makeover with the help of Hampton® Hotels’
The restoration effort is the second Save-A-Landmark project of 2008
and the 37th in the program’s nine-year history. Dozens of volunteers from
local Hampton Hotels will carefully clean, prime, paint and repair historical
buildings from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life, including the following:
Copyright 2008, Laura
Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc..
In addition, volunteers will revamp the landscape with grasses and flowers
native to the South Dakota prairie, as well as repave the sidewalk and
steps leading up to the Surveyors’ house, the First School of De Smet and
the Gift Shop, making all buildings handicap accessible. Hampton Hotels
will contribute more than 85 volunteer hours towards ensuring the ongoing
care of the national landmarks.
Ingalls’ home, built by Laura’s Pa in 1887 was the final home that the
Ingalls family lived in on the property
Surveyors’ house, was the original home that the Ingalls family lived in
upon arriving in De Smet in 1879. Laura writes about this landmark
in her book, “By the Shores of Silver Lake” The home was a landmark
to all those who traveled West in 1880
First School of De Smet, which is the original building where Laura and
her sister Carrie attended school from 1880 to 1885. In April 2007,
the school became the newest addition to the Society’s headquarters, after
serving as a private residence for many years
Laura Ingalls Wilder Gift Shop, which serves as an important piece of the
The Hampton Hotels Save-A-Landmark 2008 campaign – aptly named “Landmark
Legends,” is devoted to restoring sites that pay homage to prominent Americans.
This year’s program kicked-off in Memphis, honoring the 40th anniversary
of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s untimely passing, with the refurbishment of
the National Civil Rights Museum. Several other iconic locations such as
Amelia Earhart’s Birthplace and Museum, the Barnum Museum, and the Poe
Museum will be refurbished in 2008 through Save-A-Landmark as well. The
list of legendary figures was generated from a nationwide survey, conducted
by Hampton Hotels, to celebrate the accomplishments of those Americans
who have inspired change, overcome adversity and made a difference.
“Laura Ingalls Wilder was an innovator in American literature. We’re
proud to be able to help repair the grounds in which she lived, wrote and
taught,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of brand marketing for
Those looking to discover other locations devoted to historic individuals
– or to possibly nominate their own “Landmark Legend” – can visit the Save-A-Landmark
site at www.hamptonlandmarks.com and click on “submit a landmark” to enter
a nomination for a legendary landmark. Below is just a sample of “heroic”
landmarks already included in the program’s online database.
Hampton’s Save-A-Landmark program is continuing its ninth year preserving
historical, fun and cultural landmarks, from the Carousel Gardens in New
Orleans, La. to the historical National Monument to the Forefathers in
Plymouth, Mass. During this time, the program has helped research
landmarks in need, promoted landmark sites and their importance, facilitated
thousands of volunteer hours, donated several tons of supplies and worked
with matching grants — all at an investment of more than $2.5 million.
Uniting its hotels together in the communities they serve, Hampton employee-volunteers
work hand-in-hand on the landmarks while Hampton provides the financial
support to refurbish selected sites.
Jesse Owens Memorial Park, Danville, Ala.: This park honors Olympic great
Jesse Owens, an Oakville native who won four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin
Olympic Games, the first American and the second athlete in history to
win four gold medals.
Jackie Robinson Birthplace, Cairo, Ga.: Born here on January 31, 1919 to
sharecroppers and enslaved grandparents on what was once a plantation,
Jackie Robinson – the first African-American major league baseball player
– was just two years old when his mother packed up Jackie and his four
siblings, hopped on a train and headed to California.
Hellen Keller Birthplace, Tuscumbia, Ala.: This small birthplace cottage
was the site of the remarkable story of Helen Keller, the woman who was
struck blind and deaf after becoming ill around the age of two. The home,
called Ivy Green, eventually became the living quarters for Helen and her
teacher, Anne Sullivan, whose huge teaching strides with Helen began by
simply spelling out the word "water" in Helen’s hand as she pumped water
Celia Cruz and Freedom Tower, Miami, Fla.: The Cuban songstress Celia Cruz,
“the Queen of Salsa,” performed at Freedom Tower during a 2001 fundraiser
to turn the site into a museum, and was later brought to the tower after
her death so tens of thousands of mourners could pay their last respects
to the legendary singer. Known as the Ellis Island of the Cuban community,
Freedom Tower is where immigration officials processed more than 500,000
Cubans who fled the country in the 1960s.
Landmark nominations have been a key element of the Save-A-Landmark
program’s success since its inception in 2000, with thousands of nominations
provided by the public. Submissions can be made online at www.hamptonlandmarks.com
or by mailing recommendations c/o Save-A-Landmark to 8730 Sunset Blvd,
5th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
About Hampton Hotels
Hampton, which includes Hampton Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Hampton
Inn & Suites hotels, is a mid-priced leader in the lodging segment.
Hampton is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, the leading global hospitality
company, with more than 3,000 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 74 countries,
with more than 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns,
manages or franchises some of the best known and highly regarded hotel
brands including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®,
Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®,
Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton®
and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection™.
Hilton Hotels Corporation is an Official Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic
Team, which will extend through the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter
Games in Vancouver, the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the
2010/2012 U.S. Paralympic Team and the 2011 U.S. Pan American Team.
The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy
that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the
earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” The company put
a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and
most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable®.
The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels,
and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.