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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.