I may have left those of you paying attention in suspense when I mentioned that Gabbie and I took a trip together when she was off from school due to not wanting to attend her class camping trip. The big reveal….we visited Mansfield, MO, the town in which Laura Ingalls Wilder lived with her husband Almanzo and daughter Rose for 60 years. This was the location in which Laura wrote her Little House books, by hand, and she was also buried alongside Almanzo in the town cemetery.
I did something silly when we left for the trip and forgot my camera at home, so these pictures were all taken on my cell phone.
Our first stop was at the town square in Mansfield, where there is a statue dedicated to Laura.
Around the statue are the names of the books and I placed our copy of Little House In The Big Woods on the plaque for a picture.
Next, we headed out of town to the historic home and museum. On this property you can visit the museum about Laura’s life and the farm house in which she lived with Almanzo, known as Rocky Ridge Farm.
Our visit to the museum began with a short movie about Laura and her family. The museum itself includes artifacts from over a century in the lives of the family as described in the Little House books.
This display shows Laura’s books translated into many languages. Gabbie of course pointed out the Hebrew translation of The Long Winter!
This map shows the journey of Laura and her family as they pioneered across the Midwest.
A note from Laura in her own words:
A display about Ma and Pa:
A letter written to Laura and Almanzo came addressed with just their name and the town name and 3 cents in postage:
Almanzo’s license plates:
Although I read the books when I was younger, I mainly recall the life of the Ingalls family from the hours I spent watching the TV show!
There were displays about each of the books. Gabbie said her favorite of the series was On the Banks of Plum Creek.
This was Ma’s sewing machine. Laura’s sewing machine remains in the home.
First editions of the books – Laura’s own copies:
Later covers, as I recall them:
Laura’s daughter Rose was also a writer and this was her desk:
After the museum, we headed to the farmhouse for a tour. You cannot take pictures of the inside of the house. Apparently, Almanzo and Laura lived in town at first, and spent 20 years working on the rocky land of the farm until 1913 when the farmhouse was complete. The house was left as it was when Laura passed away. At its complete form, the house had 10 rooms, mainly built by Almanzo and local carpenters.
A short drive away is the Rock House, which Laura’s daughter Rose had built for her parents. This was where Laura actually began writing the Little House books. Laura and Almanzo lived in the Rock House for 8 years and then returned to the farmhouse. We toured the inside of this house as well.
Our last stop before heading back to Springfield, MO where we spent the night, we visited the town cemetery to pay our respects to the Wilders.
Mansfield, MO is located east of Springfield and northeast of Branson, and is just over 3 hours from Kansas City. It was well worth the trip for myself and my Little House fan!