My favorite part of my vacation was visiting the Laura Ingall Wilder musuem. I grew up reading her books and was so excited to visit her home. When we arrived it was already mid afternoon,so we only had a couple of hours until the museum closed.
The grounds are beautiful! Well maintained and they were actually tilling up a garden while we were there. The caretaker informed us they grow fresh vegetables every year.
Laura had an extra large mailbox to hold her fan mail. Even in the 1950's she received at least 50 letters a day. She had a special chair in her dining room and spent many hours replying to each and every letter. She was very serious about making sure that she took time out of her day to respond to each one.
Laura didn't start writing her books until she was in her 60's. For many years she had written articles for the local paper and they have been compiled into a book for everyone to read. A copy is available at the bookstore.
This is the side of the house, with a screened in back porch. This door leads into the kitchen, everything in the kitchen was handmade by Almanzo just for Laura. She was under 5 ft and her cabinets were built to accommodate her small stature. She had painted her kitchen a bright cheery yellow and the trim was in white. Her wood burning stove was the highlight of the kitchen! She had a pass through by the sink. After she cooked the food she would placed the dishes onto the ledge and push them through to the other side. The dining room was next door, she would place the dishes on the table and when she finished she could push them back through the opening to the kitchen, saving her many steps. By reading in her farm journal. I have discovered she was very conscious time and making sure she did not waste any of it. I believe she lived life to the fullest.
The stone fireplace was massive. It took 40 wagon loads of stone to construct the chimney. There were huge flat stones on the inside to form the mantel and sides of the fireplace.
The house started out as a small room with an add on kitchen, over the years it was added onto at least 9 more times to form a 10 room house.
It was a beautiful day to visit the grounds. We really enjoyed the museum and all of the many items on display. We saw Pa's fiddle, Laura's sewing machine, her school slates, the quilts her and Mary made when they were little girls. Several items of bead work, clothing, hats, jewelry and so many other items it was hard to take it all in.
At the end of the day, we were tired, but had a wonderful time. I wished I had arrived that morning to soak it all in. I will go back one day to see it again. What a wonderful heritage that has been preserved for our children to enjoy!
I hope that every child has the pleasure of reading Laura's books. It is a rare insight to a world we will never know again. A simple life, that was spent with family, friends and lived to the fullest. Laura's life was difficult, but she overcame every obstacle to make it the best she could. And she lived to the fullest everyday of her life! She is described as a delightful woman with a very vivacious personality. She loved to entertain guests and spend time with her beloved husband. I think she led an extraordinary life.
I encourage you to visit this home if in the area. It was wonderful!
Have a great week.