This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
Lately, I’ve had some time for extra reading, so I decided to read a couple of books related to Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’ve been a Laura fan since I was a girl, so I like to throw in some reading about her life every now and again. As I read, I was reminded of a little day trip we took one summer day to visit the Little House on the Prairie Museum near Independence, Kansas.
A Couple of Books About Laura Ingalls Wilder
The first was Caroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller. This is a retelling of Little House on the Prairie from Ma’s point of view. Miller also used some facts that differ slightly from Wilder’s fictionalized version. It was an interesting take, but if you’ve read Little House on the Prairie as I had, you already know what main events will happen. I think that makes it a little too predictable for me. I’ll leave a link if you’ve like to give it a go. It is an affiliate link.
The other book is Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser. This one goes into a lot of detail about the history surrounding her life and politics. The most interesting parts, though, are concerning Wilder’s relationship with her daughter, Rose. Again, here is another affiliate link if you want to check it out.
Other Laura Sites
As I read, I was reminded of our visit to the Little House on the Prairie Museum near Independence, Kansas. We’ve been lucky to visit three of the sites that she called home, and we’re especially lucky enough to be a day trip away from two of them. One of those, of course, is near Independence. The other is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum. If you’d like to read about her home as an adult in Mansfield, Missouri, click here.
We’ve also visited her homestead and the town of De Smet, South Dakota. We even spent the night in a wagon on the homestead! Click here to read more about that adventure.
Little House on the Prairie Museum
This museum stands on the site believed to be where the Ingalls lived for about a year (1869-1870). The home is not the original, but it was recreated based on descriptions in Wilder’s book Little House on the Prairie.
When the museum is open, you can explore the insides of the buildings, including the cabin, a school, and a post office. Here is a picture of the hearth.
I love that they even have the china shepherdess on the mantle, just like Wilder describes in her books!
Here is a back view of the log house.
This wagon is next to the house.
You can see where the hand-dug well is. If you’ve read Little House on the Prairie, you know that there is a nail-biting story that goes with it.
Other Buildings on the Property
A few other historic buildings from the area have been added to the museum. You can visit Sunny Side School.
It’s a fun place to explore.
You can also check out the post office.
You should also be sure to shop in the gift shop. It has some cool homemade items that I enjoyed. I could’ve easily spent a fortune in there. Here is Kristin running across the property to the gift shop.
Explore the Grounds
Be sure to say hello to the resident donkeys during your visit.
I enjoyed just walking around, trying to imagine what it would’ve been like over a hundred years ago. The trees, the grass, the animals–my imagination could run wild.
There are even places to sit and enjoy the scenery.
The Little House on the Prairie Museum is a must-do for any Laura fan. One of my dreams is to visit all of the Laura Ingalls sites one day. History buffs will also enjoy this little stop. If you’re passing through Southeast Kansas, be sure to put the Little House on the Prairie Museum on your list!
Here are some other great resources about Laura Ingalls Wilder:
If you’re wondering about the prairie dress, we purchased it a few years ago on eBay. She wore it many times around the house, and she wore it to two of the Laura sites we visited.
Oh my gosh, I had no idea this museum existed. We are definitely making this trip one day!
That dress is precious! I loved these books when I was kid, and the show!
What a precious adventure for Kristin!! My daughters would have LOVED this one! One year we invited 20 children to a “Little House on the Prairie” birthday party. They made their own lunch after roasting chickens over an open fire, and picking herbs, greens and strawberries from a garden. They carved soap, dipped candles, made ornaments and hand-cranked ice cream, and rode in a covered wagon. It was a great memory!! Thanks for sharing!
Okay, now that is just cool! What a birthday party!
I read the entire series to my kids when they were younger, so I would LOVE to take them to visit. They are teens now but I think they’d still enjoy checking it all out.
My kids love the books but not the show, so funny to me. I didn’t know about this museum it looks like so much fun. The next time we are driving across the country we will have to put this our own list of stops.
There is a Little House on the Prairie Museum!!! I must go!
So much fun! Love her outfit!
How cute! Looks like a fun day! My little sister loved watching Little House on the Prairie, though somehow I’ve actually never seen it.
We are reading this book at our house. If vacation happens this summer we may be near this! I will have to look it up and see!
Would love to tour that old school. Looks like lots of fun!
I’m a huge fan of Little House so would love to visit! I believe there are a couple of places near me as well in Minnesota.
I grew up with the Little House books. This would be an awesome place to visit and relive some of those memories!
Great trip! Great outfit too!!! It made me smile!
I have such fond memories of reading her books. I had no idea there was a museum! Thanks for sharing, it was like taking a trip down memory lane.
I would LOVE to take my mom here one day! She is from Nebraska and this would be fun on our trip “back home.”
You seem to know what would be on readers’ mind, I was wondering where you got the cute dress -:) Very fitting to the place. Fascinating piece of history.
Looks like an interesting visit to the museum. And, cute dressup
Interesting! I haven’t never read the books, the museum sounds interesting if you have though!
I never watched or read Little House on the Prairie, but I do enjoy historical places. So adorable your daughter gets really into the scene. I’d visit just to know more
I love this. I have been wanting to get DVD’s and books for my grandkids.
This is definitely going on my list! I used to watch the Little House on the Prairie TV show with my grandma when I was a little girl!
I loved watching that show. It would be great to visit.
I started reading Laura Ingalls Wilder books when I was in the 5th grade, a very long time ago. I’m convinced that those great stories fostered my love of reading so I would love to visit this museum!
These were some of my favorite books as a child – how fun!
I’ve only ever seen the TV show but never read the books. Looks like a cute place to visit for fans of the series for sure.
I was literally reading Little House in the Big Woods to my children tis morning! It has been a dream of mine to go there since I was little. This would make an amazing experience for anyone who loves the books. Thank you for sharing!
Oh m y goodness, my girls would love this! I grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and my girls watch it now. We will have to visit the next time we are in the area. Love her outfit! So cute.
This would be so much fun. We love exploring in this way. My daughter and I have both read all of the books so I know that she would enjoy it!