De Smet, South Dakota

     As we drove to De Smet, the scenery was a bit more reminiscent of home. Fields were filled with hay bales, though I still did not see a lot of cattle roaming freely. They also seem to have more trees than the part of Nebraska we drove through yesterday.
     Last October while vacationing in Branson, we took a day trip to Mansfield and toured Laura Wilder’s final home. We arrived less than an hour before they closed and rushed through trying to see as much as we could of the museum. Today was a complete opposite experience. We had a private tour (as no one else signed up,) and the tour guide thoroughly shared much about the Ingalls family. 
I enjoyed hearing stories about when Laura was the 15 year old teacher in this schoolhouse.

   We could not take pictures inside most of the buildings in the Laura Ingalls Wilder tour, but were able to walk through two of the houses that the family lived in while in DeSmet. 
     Our guide shared that they packed up their covered wagon to move seven times! I can’t imagine actually living through the experiences shared about in that popular book series. I found it interesting that Rose quit school in Missouri calling them “hillbilly schools” and moved to Louisiana with her Aunt Elisa because they taught Latin in the schools there. Rose finished three years of Latin in one year and finished at the top of her class! Laura’s sister Carrie was quite the independent woman; pictures showed the shanty she lived in while claiming her own homestead. 

     My interest was captured and I want to read through the Little House series with the kids again. I can now better imagine the bitter cold described in The Long Winter. Though not yet winter here it is quite cold, and the wind only gets this strong at home when it is storming.



  1. We have been there!! I loved visiting Laura's homes (I have been to 3 or 4 of them). Have you read her daughter's books? She was a fire cracker too. Hope you share on the field trip hop. Enjoy your trip!

    kind of sad the family died out with Rose's death:(

    1. I still have not read her daughter's books. I'll add them to our library list.

  2. I would LOVE to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites, but right now we live too far away. Someday we'll do it though. ;-) In the meantime, I enjoyed your pictures and description.

  3. Ohhhh!! I want to go! That looks like so much fun. I love the old schoolhouse.

  4. I'm totally jealous. I am a Laura Ingalls junkie.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Anonymous9/21/2011

    I'd love to go there someday - I love the Little House series


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