Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder Home ~ Part 1


On the first day of summer, last Friday, we headed down the highway to Mansfield MO on a little trip that would take us nearly 4 hours to get to our destination, but that time frame includes stopping for an early lunch.  Mansfield is a small town with a population of 2,400 and was the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder for over 60 years.  I've been a fan of Laura's and her books for many, many years and had never seen this before.  I'm glad we went!  My hubby enjoyed it very much, too.


After parking in the graveled parking lot across the highway, this is the scene that we first saw as we walked up the gravel lane toward the house.  The museum is very close to the back of Laura's house.  There is a book store and gift shop to the left of the museum.  That is where we saw a short film about the Wilder's before we began our tour.

First, we went into the museum to purchase our tickets for the house tour.  Eight dollars for senior citizens...what a bargain!  This included a tour of the museum and later a tour of the house that Rose Wilder Lane, Laura and Almanzo's daughter, built for her parents.

The museum wasn't very big, but was so interesting and I wish I had a photographic memory to describe all I saw.  One of the things I loved seeing was the fiddle that Charles (Pa) had while Laura was growing up and later handed down to her.  This fiddle is still played on special occasions such as when they hold a festival.  

There was a buggy that they used in traveling that was much smaller than I would have thought it would be to carry their belongings.  We saw Laura's treadle sewing machine that stitched many of their clothes.  There was a beautiful white dress of Laura's that she made that had such detail like little vertical pleats on the bodice and lace.  She must have made it for a special occasion.  

There were quilts that Laura had made, including an appliqued quilt she made when she was 89, a year before her death.   Also displayed were many handwritten letters and notes, manuscripts, Bibles, books, dishes and furniture that belonged to Laura and her family.  Displayed were many photographs and tintypes of all the family, too.  And, I can't forget the lap desk that hid a 100 dollar bill that helped Laura and Almanzo buy the acreage where they lived.  We saw Laura's jewelry box, some of her jewelry, and even her small revolver that she used to shoot small game.



This house started life as a small cabin and Almanzo added on rooms as they were able to do so.  The front part of the house where the fireplace is was built by Almanzo, but we were told he had some help with the building of that part.  



I feel like I'm writing a book, and there is much more to tell, so I'll end my visit to Laura's home for now and finish up later with Part 2.  I'll also show photos of the second Wilder home that their daughter, Rose, had built and gifted to her parents.  

Until next time...

35 comments:

  1. WOW!!! What a treat, this is really a awesome house, and now I know why the chimney is stone and the rest of the house wood, because of the additions and updating. I like the way the front porch s half enclosed, too. WHO would not love to live in this house??? Too bad they did not let pictures inside, I see nothing wrong with that as long as you don't use a flash. I can't WAIT to see the rest!

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  2. How exciting. This was fascinating. Besides the books, we also watched the tv show.

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  3. must be the kid in me but when i read "buggy" 1st thought was a silly name of a bug ... i reread it again & got withe program. ha. ha!! ( :
    always enjoyed her books as a kid.

    i love your little chocolate mouse cartoon to the right... that is too funny!!

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  4. Loved your post today...it looks like a lovely place to visit.

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  5. What a great place to visit. I especially love the parts about the fiddle that is still played and the white dress she made... and the quilt at 89! Looking forward to hearing more. blessings ~ tanna

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  6. I loved that TV series growing up, and the tour sounds really nice.

    There was an Alfonso on the show, I think (memory is escaping me). Was he a love interest on there too?

    Looking forward to the next part of your review!

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  7. This is so interesting as I watched the TV show for years but to be honest, have never read her books. The house is so simple but a typical farmhouse. I love the stone chimney. I'll look forward to the next 'episode'. :)

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  8. Such a sweet house, loved you sharing the tour with us Cheryl....wonderful post, Francine.

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  9. I have a passion for old houses and this is the type I love. log cabins and these type homes make me happy just looking at them... you did a great job of making me SEE what you saw without photos. great word pics

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  10. OH, didn't you feel like you had stepped back in time? I did from your tale. Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful trip with all of us!

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  11. how delightful to visit a place, which is so closely connected to books/author you love. !!!!!

    I still remember visiting Louisa May Alcott's home. :-)))

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  12. i'm glad it is all preserved and viewable. amazing to think of her alive in 1957.

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  13. What a wonderful post, Cheryl! You've done a great job taking us there! Have a nice day! Twyla

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  14. Such a charming home...was it as charming inside as it is outside? You could write a book on this topic any day as it is all very interesting to me.

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  15. HI Cheryl A very interesting post and I am looking forward to more. Margaret

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  16. I could be very happy in that house with that big old beautiful stone chimney! Would love to see what it looks like inside. Maybe CH and I need to take a trip when it cools off! Looking forward to your next post Cheryl!!

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  17. Oh, Cheryl I loved this post... I really would like to go there. I can't wait to see the rest of the story.

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  18. This is a great account of your trip.

    I don't live far from Mansfield and make my pilgrimage to the small town and Laura's home every summer. Last year, I went to the festival in August, too. FUN

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  19. Thank you for taking us along with you on your trip....It looks like a wonderful place to spend some time and think of time long ago....

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  20. I'm so glad you and your hubby got a chance to visit. I'm also glad you shared it with us. I'd love to see in in real life someday.
    Next time my sister-in-law is visiting I am going to show her this post. She is a huge Little House on the Prairie fan.

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  21. I can't believe I still haven't seen this!! I'm a huge LIW fan... I wanted to BE LIW when I was a girl. I have been to Independence, KS, where little house on the prairie took place. Her Mansfield home is on my list and I really need to make a trip soon!

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  22. What a beautiful home.
    We follow the TV series but this was so interesting.
    Can not wait for more.
    Hugs

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  23. That trip would have given me goose bumps. What a lovely house and how great it is being kept up and for public display. I'm not that far away, maybe someday.

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  24. This is really interesting! I'm looking forward to the rest. :)

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  25. What a wonderful trip to remember. Your story-telling is great and I felt like I was right there with you- xo Diana

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  26. Very interesting. Thanks for the tour.

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  27. Well I for one will never get to see it - so if you didn't write about it I would never see the photos or know the story. I still love Little House on the Prairie! sandie

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  28. Several years ago we were in Springfield for a car convention & took one day to go to Mansfield. I still remember enjoying the visit to the little house so much! Thanks for jogging my memory.

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  29. I always wanted to visit one of Laura's homes.
    It sounds just great. I can't wait for part2.

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  30. I love the photos and the explanations about the tour. I love the home. In fact if I could have a home built I would love this kind of home. It brings back memories of older homes that I have loved.
    Blessings!

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  31. I so want to go there...and maybe one of these days we will. I want to think and look and see if there is a website with hours, etc.

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  32. oh, I am assuming you could not take photos inside--am I right?

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  33. All I can say is WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL! I love Laura and this is very interesting. Thank you so much.

    Susannah

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  34. What beautiful photos of Laura's home at Rocky Ridge! I love to see the actual home sites (although I've not yet been able to visit them). I recently read "Laura Ingalls Wilder Country" by William Anderson and it contains many interior photos of Laura's homes, including Rocky Ridge and the Surveyor's house. I especially enjoyed seeing actual photos of Laura's kitchen at Rocky Ridge. So wonderful!

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