The Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum in Mansfield, MO may not be the “Little House On the Prairie” she wrote so famously about – but it is where she wrote about it! Come discover Rocky Ridge Farm, where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote many of her books.
Tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood have thrilled numerous readers – both young and old – since first being published in 1932. “Little House in The Big Woods” was the first of 8 books detailing the Ingalls family pioneering adventures from 1871 to 1885.
The Ingalls family wandered all across the Midwest during these years. From Pepin, WI to Independence, KS, Walnut Grove, MN to Burr Oak IA, De Smet, SD to Vinton IA and often back again. When Charles Ingalls confesses to having an itchy foot for travel in Laura’s books, you have to smile. Yes, we know!
Readers – or even those who watched the television series – know that Laura ended up marrying Almanzo Wilder. What they may not know is that Wilder’s ended up settling in Mansfield, MO.
Rocky Ridge Farm
Though Laura and Almanzo did some similar hopping from place to place at first, mostly in the hunt for stability, they eventually settled in Mansfield, MO. Here, in 1894, they purchased Rocky Ridge Farm and settled down for good.
It was here, some years later and at her daughter’s urging, that Laura turned her memoirs into the book series that went on to sell more than 41 million copies.
Today, Rocky Ridge Farm is the site of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum.
Visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder House
The museum preserves both Laura and Almanzo’s original white clapboard farmhouse and the Rock House Rose Wilder Lane built for them. “Laura’s Vegetable Garden,” is another on-site attraction.
The museum preserves items that will be of particular interest to fans of the Wilder’s “Little House” books. Pa’s fiddle is on display, along with Mary’s Braille slate, Laura’s needlework, and Almanzo’s tools. The museum is loaded with items readers of the books will find familiar.
Laura’s handwritten manuscripts for the Little House books are here, too – along with the writing desk she wrote at. Another portion of the museum is dedicated to Rose Wilder Lane, a successful author in her own right.
Laura died in Mansfield, in 1957, at the age of 90. Laura’s grave, and those of Almanzo and Rose, are minutes away at Mansfield Cemetery.
Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum
3060 Highway A, Mansfield MO 65704
Open March 1st through November 15th: Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm | Sundays, 12:30pm to 5pm. Closed Easter Sunday. Visit lauraingallswilderhome.com to learn even more. You can also visit the museum on Facebook.
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