Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walnut Grove, MN.

Our first stop today was in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, the place where Laura Ingalls Wilder spent a few years during her childhood. Having been fans of the "Little House on the Prairie" series for a few years now, we were so excited to visit Walnut Grove and Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
The museum consists of eight-building complex just 1/2 blocks south of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway 14. A former 1890's depot building has two large exhibit areas. The first features "Laura's Room", a window to Laura's life and that of her characters from her book "On the Banks of Plum Creek". The second area contains an extensive collection of memorabilia from the NBC TV Series "Little House on the Prairie". Funny enough, the girls had just been watching a few episodes on the farm in Ohio.
The Walnut Grove Jail Cells, Covered Wagon, Outhouse, The Little Red Schoolhouse, The Early Settler's Home, Grandma's House, a life-sized Dugout and a Church all made it easier to imagine the life during the times of Laura's growing up.
The gift shop was quite busy. People were buying rag dolls for $27.00, sun bonnets for $9.99, books, cards, and other nick knacks. At 3 pm there was also signing books on Laura's biography. Three authors came that day to sign their books. John Miller was one of them, and I had remembered taking his book from the library. We got to talk a bit and found out that he had lived in the area where Laura was growing up. So, her biography became his passion and he decided to write those books in order to preserve local history.
Also, 1 1/2 miles north of Walnut Grove there was an original site of Ingall's family's dugout. The ruins of the dugout home are surrounded by more than 30 acres of original and restored native grass. The Gordons bought the property long time ago, and had no idea about the historical value of the land. Later, when they found out, they took time to restore it and now are excepting visitors.

The day was hot, and we needed to proceed to our next farm which is in Madison, Western Minnesota. It was really great to be able to visit the places that we had read about in our favorite books.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing about this. The girls and I are reading the books that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote. It's nice to see some pictures of the real thing.

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