Laura Ingalls-Wilder is an author that I have loved since I was a very little girl. My mom used to read me The Little House on the Prairie Series and then they were the first set of chapter books that I learned to read. On family road trips we used to have to stop at different houses that Laura lived in or schools where she taught. However, living in Springfield, there is a Laura Ingalls-Wilder Home about 30 minutes away in Mansfield. I had gone once as a very little girl, but I have been wanting to go back for a while now.
This summer, my friend Waymond and I decided to take a day to revisit the house. The admission fee is 10 dollars for adults, and it includes two homes and the museum. Everything is self-guided, but there are people volunteering in the houses that you can ask questions, or if they’re really great volunteers, they will walk through it with you and explain the rooms themselves, or give you little fun facts.
The first home you tour is the farm house that Almanzo Wilder built for Laura, one room at a time. It’s a beautiful home, and is filled with a lot of her original things, like her writing desk (where some of The Little House on the Prairie books were written) and her own personal library. It’s a very small house: not only in overall size, but the cabinets were very low because Laura was so short, and it was built just for her.
The museum is filled with artifacts that belonged to Laura’s family, Laura’s daughter- Rose Wilder, and even Laura herself! The coolest one, though, is Pa’s famous fiddle! I think it’s so cool! Plus, once a year, during the Wilder Days Festival, someone plays it.
The second house is one that Rose actually had built for Laura and Almanzo’s retirement. It’s a beautiful rock house with huge open windows on the front of the house. It was a really fancy house in its time and it is still absolutely darling today.
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