October 20, 2013

I went back to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum

Apple trees (of course)

The farmhouse

My mom found it *fascinating*

So did my dad

A few years ago, I'd have issues with standing in front of a large crowd, as a grown person, and asking my mom to take my picture.  Blogging has changed all that.

The Rock House

Last time, Scott and I got a private tour. This time, there were lots of others.  

If you've read Little Town in the Ozarks, this is the house (the stone one) that Laura, Almanzo, and Rose lived in during the time they had to make the move to town for financial reasons.  Back then, it looked much different.

4 1/2 years ago, Scott and I took a trip to Mansfield on our way to Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.  He humored me,  joked about the short kitchen counters (Laura was 4' 11"), and said he'd never go back.  I counted that as one of the best days of my life.  He and I are different like that.

This time around, I found out new information about Rose, genealogy, and I got some new reading material called The Wilder Life.  Reading this book has made me realize that I'm not alone; I've always had an unhealthy obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder.  It began in 4th grade, and I'm pretty sure that's why 4th grade is still my favorite grade, both to remember and to teach (sorry, 2nd graders).  

We went to the cemetery and, for a split second, were worried we'd have to trample through the whole place in order to find what we were looking for.  No worries.

And in case you missed the first sign, there was a second.

Looking at that headstone there, does anyone remember Mrs. Rippee from the The Rose Years books (doubtful because I'm probably the only one who read them more than once)?  
That cemetery was like a character list.  I kept looking for Codays, hoping to come across Blanche, but I'm not sure what happened to her.  Information I found online says she was a year older than Rose and had 3 brothers.  That's the right Blanche, but the internet doesn't know where she ended up.

Anyway, expect more about this in the coming days.  I feel like I've got a lot to say.  And I made some of Laura's famous gingerbread.  


  1. Wow what an absolutely amazing place.

  2. I went to the De Smet, SD homestead but I've never been here! I've read those books from the time I could read--I can relate to your excitement! I wouldn't mind going there!

  3. I would love to visit there someday. I used to love watching "Little House on the Prairie" growing up. My mom liked it because she was a Michael Landon fan. Haha.

  4. I read the Rose books! Years ago. I don't remember them. I'll have to do a re-read. :) I am SOOOOO jealous you've been TWICE.

  5. I havent read the book since I was a little girl. I would love to reread them. Glad you had a fun trip!

  6. I haven't been there in years...must get there one day again :)

  7. This is so cool! I never got into any of it, but I can appreciate the awesomeness of being able to see things in person that you've read so much about! I'm glad you got to go again!

    I still struggle with the "hey take my picture," thing. I'll get over it eventually--but I'm just so dang awkward!

  8. This looks like such a fun day trip, I was obsessed with the Little House books as a kid too.

  9. Is it bad that I've never read any of those books? ;)

  10. Ha, I feel you on the blogging for photos and being more comfortable with it. We went to a Farmer's Market this weekend and I took photos and even though I felt silly, a year or two ago I would never have done that! Your trip looks awesome!

  11. I'm a huge fan. I'd totally go there if I was close.

  12. Like you, I thought I was the only one to have such an obsession until I read The Wilder Life as well. Wendy McClure, the author of that book, wrote so many things that I had thought over the years. My friend and I were excited when we saw the Rippee headstones too because I remember reading about the library of books she had and how excited Rose was to see all of them. In fact, I googled because I wanted to know which gravestone was hers and find out her first name and that is how I stumbled upon your blog. We also saw a Hensley and I think that is a name from the Rose books as well. We drove through town and also saw a State Farm office where the agent's name is David Coday. It's lucky he was closed for the day or he may have gotten visitors that wanted to know about his ancestor Blanche, instead of insurance.

  13. I've been re-reading The Rose Years and I was curious about Blanche, since I knew she was one of the "real" people in the books. I found this: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=88587755 so it looks like she died in 1970 and is buried in Springfield, MO.

    It's so nice to know I'm not the only one obsessed!


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