Dedicated: May 20, 2010
Partner: Betsy-Tacy Society
The childhood home of Frances "Bick" Kenny, best friend of author Maud Hart Lovelace, was dedicated a Literary Landmark, along with Lovelace's childhood home. Lovelace was the author of the Betsy-Tacy book series, which was set at the turn of the 20th century in Mankato. Born Maud Palmer Hart on April 25, 1892, she and her family lived in the house from 1892 to 1906. It was there that she met her best friend, Frances “Bick” Kenney, who moved into the house across the street in 1898. Maud (“Betsy”) and Bick (“Tacy”) were lifelong friends, and the tales of their childhood in Mankato later became the Betsy-Tacy book series.
The Literary Landmark dedication of the houses began with a welcome by Betsy-Tacy Society President Penny Banwart, followed by a portrayal of Maud Hart Lovelace by Susan Hynes at “Betsy’s House.” A portrayal of Frances “Bick” Kenney by Barb Dunker followed at “Tacy’s House.” Tours of the Betsy-Tacy houses were held following the dedication.
Sponsoring the Literary Landmark dedications was the Betsy-Tacy Society, which owns both houses, and celebrates the spirit of the Betsy-Tacy books and the writings, books, and life of Maud Hart Lovelace. The nonprofit organization works to promote and preserve Lovelace’s legacy and her work, encourage and support literacy, and conserve the author’s historic childhood home. Each year, hundreds of visitors come to Mankato to view the Betsy-Tacy houses.