Is it too early for a tall glass of iced tea? Not at my house. Maybe you'd rather have coffee? Have a seat and I'll pour you a glass or a cup and we'll revisit my trip to Mansfield, MO where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived for 60 years or so. I have shown photos of her home and told a little bit about her life there in Part One here and in Part Two here. If you missed them, you might want to check them out.
I'm still kicking myself because we didn't take time to find a place to stop and take photos of the many beautiful coneflowers we saw along the highway on the way to Mansfield. The one above is in my garden and I recently bought another and planted. I love these flowers, as you may have noticed! Okay, now on to Laura's house...
After we toured the museum and Laura's house, we were then given directions for the short drive to Laura's other home that she lived in for 8 years. As you can see by the sign above, Rose, the daughter of Laura and Almanzo, had a more modern home built for her parents. Laura wrote articles for magazines and publications and sold her first book "Little House in the Big Woods" in 1932. Rose was doing very well with her writing and made much more money than Laura did, according to the tour guide. I was surprised to learn this, I had no idea that Rose was so successful.
The stone house is beautiful, inside and out. I really loved it and also the setting in among the trees. Rose spent a good deal of money to make this house, that was built from a Sears home plan, look like an English cottage. When she was through making changes, the cost of the house was double the original price. There are many beautiful built ins, a modern kitchen and a tiled bathroom. We only saw the five rooms on the main floor, but there's a couple of bedrooms upstairs and a basement where Laura did her laundry. Photos were not allowed inside.
The house was built using local materials such as the field stone for the siding. The floors were a beautiful pecan wood. All of the furniture we saw had belonged to the Wilders including some chairs that Almanzo had made.
Rose also had a small garage built for her parents and it was sided with the same stone as the house. In addition to the garage, a brand new car was gifted to her parents, Laura and Almanzo, too. I didn't get a photo of the garage because the tour was about to start and I had to hurriedly snap the shots of the house and the barn that was partially hidden in the trees. If you missed seeing the barn, it is shown here.
As you already know, Laura and Almanzo only lived in this house 8 years. I asked the tour guide why they moved back to their other house and he told us that Laura said the other house was "home". I imagine that I would have felt the same way. Although the stone house isn't really all that large, it must have been quite grand in it's day. However, there is just something about the other house that was more appealing, at least to me. It had that homey, cozy cottage feel that I love.
I feel like I should write "The End" now. But, quite frankly, I didn't want this story to end. I can't wait to go back and see the museum and homes again. If you are ever in the Branson area, Mansfield is only about 90 minutes away.
Until next time...