when laura ingalls wilder wrote the little house on the prairie book series, inspired by her own childhood on the 19th century frontier midwest, she probably had no idea that fans would be interested to see firsthand where he came from. People were interested in the real Laura, which they can experience at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home & Museum located inside her former home in Mansfield, Missouri.
The Ingalls family was originally from Wisconsin, with their Pepin home serving as inspiration for the books, though Laura also wrote about her time living in Kansas as well as Walnut Grove, Minnesota. The Mansfield House was where Laura settled as an adult, when she and her husband, Almanzo Wilder, made a $100 down payment on 40 acres of Missouri farmland in 1894 after they decided to leave their South Dakota home. south. After they moved in with their daughter Rose, her land became known as Rocky Ridge Farm. The property is now historic as the site where Laura wrote her beloved books Little House.
rocky ridge farm in mansfield, missouri
When the Wilder family first moved in, there was only a one-bedroom log cabin on the property. Over the course of 17 years, the family built their country home, which is one of the historic sites fans can visit today. You can also see Laura’s vegetable garden, which was instrumental in getting the family enough food during the long winters and the Great Depression. Just walking through the property, you’ll feel like you’re part of Wilder’s process that led to the classic television series that brought his beloved casita series to the small screen.
If you’re a big fan of Laura, plan a visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum – Rose Wilder Lane. It has the most wild Laura Ingalls artifacts in the world. According to the museum’s website, you can see the “pa’s fiddle, handwritten manuscripts for the ‘little house’ books, memorabilia from the wilder ingalls and families, tools and items made by almanzo, sewing made by laura,” and more. there’s even an area dedicated entirely to Laura’s only daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who also became an accomplished author.
the house on the rock
Another must-see is the Casa de la Roca, a modern house on the property that Rose gave to her parents in 1928. Laura and Almanzo lived there from 1928 to 1936, during which time they wrote the first four of the eight books of the little house, before returning to her country house where Laura lived until her death in 1957.
rocky ridge bookstore is the on-site gift shop where visitors can take home their own memorabilia to remember the historic home of laura ingals wilder. the museum is located in the ozarks region of missouri, less than an hour from springfield on highway 3060 a. it has also been a registered National Historic Landmark since 1991.
Can’t get enough of the little house? be sure to visit the laura ingalls museum in pepin, wisconsin, the birthplace of laura ingalls wilder. You can even visit a recreation of the little house in the cabin in the great woods in pepin, which served as the inspiration for the first book in ingalls wilder’s iconic series.
independence kansas houses a replica of the one-room cabin where laura lived with her family as a child between 1869 and 1871. the ingalls traveled to the kansas prairie after living in wisconsin.
independence is also home to a one-room schoolhouse and a well, hand-dug by pa ingalls.
walnut grove, minnesota
Walnut Grove is home to a Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Gift Shop.
fans of the little house on the prairie series can visit scale models of the ingalls’ homes featured in the television series and more.
root oak, iowa
The Masters Hotel, where the Ingalls family resided from 1876 to 1877, is located in Burr Oak, Iowa.
de smet, s.d.
Smet, South Dakota features the original Ingalls family homes and a school attended by Laura and Carrie.
Spring Valley, Minnesota
Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Almanzo moved to Spring Valley in 1890. Although the Wilder home no longer stands, you can still visit one of the family barns. The Spring Valley Methodist Church, which Laura and her husband attended, is now a museum.
This article was originally published in July 2020.
Editor’s Note: Our editors independently select the products shown in the open country. however, when you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission