Lem McCary is elected mayor of Walnut Grove and it appeared that he would be staying on, but he is never seen again and there is never another mention of him or a mayor in Walnut Grove.
The town name of Olesonville was actually mentioned way back in the first season in the episode The Voice of Tinker Jones. Mr. Kennedy objected to the idea of Mrs. Oleson buying a church bell and displaying a plaque with her name on it. He implied that someday the town would be called Olesonville.
In this episode, we hear that Walnut Grove was named by Jess Moffet, because there was a stand of walnut trees on the hill in town.
Walnut Grove must have grown by leaps and bounds just since season 4's A Most Precious Gift. In that episode, it's established that the town's population is 127, but in this episode, 121 people vote in the election. Assuming a conservative ratio of one child per voting adult, that would put Walnut Grove's population at 242, a huge jump in just two years.
During the debates, Lem McCary mentions that he was there when Lars Hanson founded the town "52 years ago." The sign as one enters Walnut Grove states "Founded 1840." That means this episode is supposed to be taking place in 1892, when Rose Wilder would have been six, and her mother Laura 25. Clearly, since Rose is only a baby in this episode, Laura would only be about twenty, which would put the setting of this episode in 1887--five years earlier.
In the part where Jenny and the others go over to Mr Moffets' place to bring him to vote, he doesn't want to but his daughter says she will go and vote. Women didn't have the right to vote in this time period.
Wasn't the old Lars Hanson house that they "fix-up" the same one that was made into the blind school and later burned down? I know that house has been used in numerous episodes as different houses, but in this case, Lars Hanson must have had two houses that looked exactly the same!
Reply: Not only that, but Reverend Alden made it clear in Blind Journey: that the Hansen estate had been left to him and the Church (although he asked for the congregation's blessing for the use of the house as a blind school), not to Mrs. Oleson. Even if the house had survived the fire, the bond - like the rest of Hansen's property - would belong to the Church.
(Harriet rushes elderly customer out out of the mercantile)
Nels: Rather rude, Harriet.
Harriet: Well, somebody had to get rid of him. If I hadn't, he would have stood here all day, yapping. That's the trouble with these old people. They never buy anything. They just want to stand around and talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk!
Actor Charles Lane, here playing the old man Jess, appeared in over 250 films in his lifetime, including many Frank Capra productions. Audiences may best remember him as the flustered, hysterical airport manager in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. He was married for 70 years, remained an active actor until age 101, and died in 2007 at age 102!
Featured characters: The Oleson family