Monday, February 7, 2011

Remembering Laura...

Laura Ingalls Wilder
February 7, 1867 - February 10, 1957

"Home is the nicest word there is."

Laura Ingalls Wilder is the author of the 8 volume Little House on the Prairie series.  Mrs. Wilder's books are filled with heart-warming stories of family life but also tell of the hardships of pioneering...from blizzards to plagues of insects while homesteading or traveling in a covered wagon.  Her books are considered to be valuable tools in teaching children about American history.  

The family traveled, mostly due to Charles Ingall's wanderlust, from Wisconsin to the Kansas Territory, back to Wisconsin, then to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and on to Burr Oak, Iowa, returning to Walnut Grove and the final move was to DeSmet, Dakota Territory.  I wonder what Mr. Ingall's wife, Carolyn, thought of all these moves! 

Laura Ingalls married Almanzo Wilder in DeSmet and eventually moved to Mansfield, Missouri, where they bought a 40 acres farm with a down payment of $100 that Laura had saved from sewing for others.  They named their home Rocky Ridge Farm.  Their daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, was known as an author in her own right.  She is credited with helping Laura edit her Little House books.  

One little tidbit I discovered when reading about Laura and Almanzo was that they were both short people.  Laura was 4' 11" and Almanzo was 5' 4".  Their home was built by Almanzo, who was a talented carpenter, and he built the kitchen cabinetry to suit Laura's height.  The house was left as is when Laura died at the age of 90, three days after her birthday.  

In the 1970's, the Little House on the Prairie book series was adapted into a highly successful TV series starring Michael Landon as Charles and Melissa Gilbert as Laura.  

I have to confess that I've read most, if not all, of the Little House books and lived here in Missouri all my life but have not visited Mansfield, MO where the house is open to the public.  I really hope to get there this year, it is on my list of places I want to visit some day.  And I want to reread some of the books.  The books may have been written with children in mind but adults enjoy them, too.

I'll end this post remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder on this day which would have been her birthday with another of her quotes:

"It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."

Until next time...


  1. What a truth in that last quote. One of my favorite quotes, which is on the top of my blog is "If you keep things simple they'll stay pure." I believe that and live by that.

  2. Oh I love remembering Laura. What you said is so often the case — we overlook the points of interest in our own states and communities. I hope that you do take the opportunity to visit Rocky Ridge Farm this year and blog all about it.

  3. I have often thought I should read the whole series of Little House books as I think I would enjoy them. I didn't realize that Laura lived to be 90 years old.
    Rocky Ridge Farm sounds like a wonderful place to visit. I hope that you are able to get there and of course do a blog about it :).

  4. Hi Cheryl, You do need to go to Mansfield, MO to see the house. I loved "Little House on the Prairie"... Never read the books, but watched the TV show faithfully. Thanks for sharing about Laura Ingalls Wilder, Cheryl.

  5. Hi Cheryl!

    Little House and the Little House books are some of my favorites too! My Husbands great great grandmother was from Sleepy Eye . . . I often wonder if she knew the Ingall's?

    I love the quotes you have on your post - simplicity really is the best way to live!

    A new camera!!! I'm so excited for you, and for us! We get to see some beautiful photos that I know you will share! I have been wanting a better camera, I'm not a great photographer, but I would like to have a camera that takes better, sharper, pictures than mine does. The pictures of the birds are so pretty - I love the bright red of the Cardinals!!

    Spring is almost here - I almost feel it in the air, even though there is still snow on the ground, there is just a certain feel and sound that I associate with Spring . . . hard to explain.

    Take care, keep taking and sharing your photos!!

    Warm hugs,

  6. Oh Cheryl,you must go. I loved watching all of the shows. Thank you so much for filling me in on the background of how it all started. I never knew!

    Hope your day is filled with plenty of laughter!

  7. Oh Cheryl,you must go. I loved watching all of the shows. Thank you so much for filling me in on the background of how it all started. I never knew!

    Hope your day is filled with plenty of laughter!

  8. While I was teachin' we always took our fifth graders to visit Laura's home and museum there in Mansfield. I live about 22 miles away from it.

    The Spanish Instructor across the hall from me was also named Laura after her generational grandmother Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    God bless ya and have a terrific day. We have another 3-6 inches of snow predicted startin' tonight.

  9. Love the last quote Cheryl. I am ashamed to say that I have not read Laura's books and I would like to do so. I too loved Little House. I would also like to go to Mansfield. Interesting post.

    Thanks for your comment today. I tried to send a response via email and realized it was no reply blogger so here I am to thank you for doing some reading at my blog! We aren't at the beach, the snowstorm stuck us at home AND I think I dreamed those temps I mentioned. I could swear that Jeff guy on channel 17 said we could see 60 next week!

    I am going to do a little extended reading here tonight!

  10. Wonderful post! I'd love to visit the home in Mansfield; maybe sometime when I visit my friends out you way. Such sweet books and a really great tv show that continues to bring entertainment to us even now. One of the tv show we we happy to have our daughter watch when she was growing up.

  11. Hi Rambler, thanks for stopping by. I really did enjoy looking around, you have a beautiful home and setting. I haven't set up my email here on my blog yet, I need to do that. There's a lot of things I need to learn to do. :D And I'm still trying to get my pesky family to let me show their current photos but they're worried about the boogie man or something...ha ha...I'll keep working on that one!

  12. Cheryl- I have been to the home in Mansfield & enjoyed the tour. It sort of made the books come alive for me! Wait & go in the springtime or early summer.

  13. What a nice post...I did so enjoy it!!! I live close to Missouri (NW TN). I love the photos you're taking with that new camera also!!!
    Have a beautiful week!!!

  14. My dear,

    I love Laura Ingalls Wilder too. What a positive influence she has had on so many of us.

    When my husband and I drive from our little cottage on a Maine island back to California we always try to learn something new every day. So last year our one thing a day turned into visiting Almanzo and Laura's simple little house in Missouri.

    Inside their home you can see by the scale how very small they were. Almanzo's woodcraft is visible throughout. Very, very simple home.

    Their daughter Rose Wilder Lane decided that the farmhouse was too simple for them and had a small, but charming stone Tudor style home built for them down the road. The little house has a bright pumpkin orange arched front door. You really understand their height when you see how low the doorknob is mounted.

    Laura and Almanzo WERE NOT happy in that fancier house and moved back home. My guess is that maybe they didn't want any hurt feelings, but then, who knows.

    You owe yourself a visit to the home and museum.

    Sending good wishes across the miles,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  15. Cheryl, don't I know about the pesky family part where they don't want their pictures on "that blog"! They don't mind announcing their every move on FB though! But I respect their request, it's only right.

    They say no snow for us but your weather gadget looks not so sure! I see the creepin' blue cruds!

  16. I am so happy I stumbled nto your blog. I have loved the Little House on the Prairie series for as long as I can remember. You shared some information I was not aware of.

  17. Home really is the nicest place to me. I loved the two quotes. I loved the TV series. I would love to visit the home someday. Since my daughter lives in Missouri; maybe I will get too.
    Thanks for sharing the thoughts! LeAnn

  18. What am I doing up so late? Good question...:D Lights out in just a minute, but I just saw Ramblers comment and had to say that it made me laugh! You are so right about FB! They put their pics on FB and tell where they're going, etc., and I can't put just a little bitty teeny photo on my blog!!! Unless it's 20 or 30 years old...LOL!

  19. Little House On the Prairie was a family ritual of ours. I didn't read the books, but my oldest daughter inhaled them. Maybe I need to consider reading them in my "old age". Thanks for the memories.