I am a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and have visited many of the homes she has lived in. I have been to the Pepin, WI house, where Laura was born. The Spring Valley, MN church were Laura and Almanzo attended church. The Burr Oak, Iowa home that operated as a hotel for pioneers on their way westward and where Grace was born. Last year, my kids and I visited De Smet, South Dakota were most of her books take place and the entire Ingalls family is buried there except Laura, Almanzo and Rose.
Last week I was finally able to visit her dugout home on Plum Creek in Walnut Grove, Minnesota and attend a play based on her life here. A dream come true! Every Little House fan knows the TV show was based here in Walnut Grove and the stars from the show visit here every few years.
We arrived in Walnut Grove on a Saturday afternoon. We were camping nearby at Lake Shetek state park. The weather was cool and cloudy. In the city park there was a festival going on with a Laura and Nellie look alike contest. Girls had to be under 12 and answer questions about the books. There were girls who had traveled from all around Wisconsin and Minnesota but also girls who had traveled from NewYork, Louisiana and Taiwan. Most of them wore braids and carried books and a lunch pail.
Did you know Rose Wilder, Laura's daughter, was a writer too? She published in lots of publications like Woman's Day and The Saturday Evening Post. There are picture of magazine covers with her name on it and actual letters written to Laura about her books.
other interesting rules.
The last picture is a photo of the Minnesota prairie by the dugout. It is so beautiful.
Walnut Grove puts on a outdoor play of Laura's book On The Banks of Plum Creek in July on the weekends. We were lucky enough to get to see the last play/pageant of the year, called Fragments of a Dream in the 5th row. It is held outdoors beginning at sunset and it lasts for about 2 hours. It was pretty amazing. The have special effects including the actual building of a church, a prairie fire and more. There is singing and dancing, covered wagons and lots of fights between Willie and Nellie. My daughter loved it, even though it was super cold outside for July. The temperature was around 60 degrees. We snuggled up in our sleeping bags and blankets.
Below are pictures from the set of the outdoor pageant. One is of the Olson Mercantile and the other of the dugout. The set of the play was awesome and the acting was great too.
Have you been to any of the Laura Ingall's Wilder houses??
I have two more houses left to visit. The Independence, Kansas house and the Mansfield, Missouri house. I would also like to visit the Wilder farm in Malone, New York. So five houses down and 3 more to go. I can't wait. Maybe next year I will get to Kansas and Missouri? Road trip anyone?