Monday, October 28, 2013

Laura Ingalls Wilder Homesite

I had a conference for work in Springfield, MO earlier this month.  Luckily my co-worker is as much of a history buff as I am Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, so I got to make my 3rd trip to Laura's Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, MO!

For a mere $10, you get a guided tour of Laura and Almanzo's home and you gain access to the museum, where they have Pa's fiddle on display, as well as lots of other family things any fan of the books would recognize (quilts and needlework done by Laura and her sisters, the writing desk where the $100 bill almost got lost on the way to Missouri, and lots more).

You can't take pictures of the inside of the home, but here's an awful shot of the postcard I bought of Laura's kitchen:

The kitchen has always been my favorite part of Laura's home.  It was the original cabin on the property, and Almanzo crafted the entire kitchen to be as handy as possible for Laura, who was under 5 feet tall.  She hated baking bread, so he built a built-in hoosier cabinet flanked by windows to make the chore a little easier.  Sap alert:  I got all gooey because Ryan is SO my "Manly;" he loves to make things easier for me around the house with his woodworking.  Sap now over.

Didn't Laura and Almanzo have a pretty view from their front porch?

I always get a picture in front of the chimney built with rocks collected from around the property (scrunched up face, sun must've been in my eyes):

 A family was there on our tour, and the tour guide asked if anyone was 4"11 while we were in the kitchen to illustrate how perfectly fitted for Laura the kitchen was.  One of the girls in that family was, and the tour guide very sweetly said "Well then you're our Laura today!" and that girl couldn't have grinned any wider.  Even the brother was into it (here's where I don't get on my soapbox about gendered books, my friend Stephanie is reading through them with her 5 year old Jack and I'm hopeful they can be "boy" books too); it made me think about bringing our hypothetical, non-existent kids there someday.  The Little House books are some of my very favorites, and I hope to read them with (hopefully) future little ones someday.

Have you ever visited her home site in Mansfield?


  1. I would love to visit her homesite! I'd also really like to read the Little House books again after reading this post.

  2. I too loved the Little House books and enjoyed visiting her home with our kids. Hope Ryan remembers our trip there! My fav costume of our preschoolers this year? One of the girls came as Laura Ingalls Wilder this year!!!!!!

  3. I've been there twice, but it's been a good fifteen years or so since the last time I visited. so fun!


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