Shiloh turned 12 in June.

One of our gifts to her was a promised visit to Little House on the Prairie.
A few years ago, a friend in the Springs had gone … so it’s been somewhere we’ve wanted to go ever since.  Shiloh loves the books, having read most of them at least once.  She loves the TV shows, having watched almost all of them more than once.
It was an absolute highlight of the trip.
Seeing the vast countryside where the Ingalls homesteaded was incredible.

The wind blows … constantly.

We took a walking tour.
Although nothing original stands on the land, replicas have been created, and original buildings have been moved on site, to show what schools, stores, and more would have looked like.
In the series, the Ingalls lived in a number of different homes in four different states.
They lived in a shanty, a tiny one room house.
They also lived in a dugout.  It was literally dug out of the side of a hill.

The house in which they lived on this land is no longer here.  A replica was created based on the details in Laura’s books.  Wood was costly, so Pa took the wood from their house and used it to build their house in town, when he and Ma moved into De Smet, only 3 miles away, where they lived with Mary.

The Ingalls house in DeSmet
The kids had fun with all the activities.
There were horse drawn wagon rides, along with pony rides.

We took a wagon ride to the school.
This building was moved to the property, but was the original building in which Laura attended first grade.  The kids loved “playing school” and the teacher who educated us did a great job giving the history of school, the structure, and even what Laura might have taken to lunch … maybe an apple, along with pig fat spread on a slice of bread!

The kids got to make corn cob dolls, just like Laura had.

They also got to make jump ropes.

We walked out, among the corn fields, to an old church that was moved to the property.

The kids loved the barn kittens … even hoping to smuggle one home with us.
We spent a day in town taking a walking tour of the old buildings.
The old Surveyors’ House is where the Ingalls first lived when they moved to DeSmet

This is the first school in DeSmet where Laura and Carrie attended.
That’s a long walk to school!

We even visited the cemetery, where Mary, Ma, and Pa, are buried.
It was an incredible two days.  If given a chance, I’d go again.
Until then, we’ll read the Little House books.