Little House On the Prairie coverI grew up on the Little House books, and it shows.

It doesn’t feel like the internet has gotten that much more sophisticated since this segment was drawn, but I remember having a heck of a time finding references for how this little cabin should look. Much worse than anything I’ve looked up in 2021 for Leif & Thorn pages. Maybe it’s just that the internet has amassed so much more searchable content in the past 10 years.

Other research I managed to do in 2011: “Celestials” was a contemporary slang term for Chinese immigrants. Esther’s song is “I’ve Been Working On The Railroad” (heads-up: racist lyrics in the early versions). The rail in progress at this place in time would be the First Transcontinental Railroad.

Christmas Eve, 1868: Ogden, Utah

Man: It isn’t right! Can’t find work that those Celestials won’t do cheaper — Can’t work so hard that Esther won’t out-do me without even trying —

Woman: Dear, please . . .

Man: But I won’t be spoken to like that by my own wife in my own home!

Esther (past!Reseda): I been workin’ on the railroad / All the livelong day / I been workin’ on the railroad / Jus’ to pass the time a-way . . .

Man: Esther! Don’t you sing him that song!

Esther: Yes, Master.