Thursday, July 29, 2010

De Smet

All of us went to tour De Smet together. We left and arrived in time to eat lunch at
Here we all are around the table, all 16 of us. My family on the left and Melanie's on the right. She was babysitting for her two grand nephews which accounts for the two littlest boys in the picture.
After lunch we went on our scheduled tour of the surveyor's house, the Brewster school, the first school of De Smet, which are all right together, and then we drove over a few streets to the house Pa built in town.

The Surveyor's House in which Laura and her family spent the winter as described in By the Shores of Silver Lake. It is no longer on the lake as the lake was drained many years ago. Pictures were not allowed to be taken inside, but it was so neat to go in and see the rooms and imagine Laura and her family living there.

The Brewster School where Laura had her first teaching job.

The first school of De Smet and where Laura and Carrie attended.
The house Pa built in town for himself and Ma and Mary and Carrie and Grace after Laura had married Almanzo. Again, pictures aren't allowed to be taken inside.

After the scheduled tour we went downtown and saw the following.

Loftus's Store is still the original building from Laura's day.

Right across the street is where Pa's store was in town and where the family lived during the long winter. Today it is a brick building. I was told that the original was taken down a long time ago and the wood used to build other things.

Then we drove outside of town to the homestead. Those are the five cottonwood trees Pa planted for Ma and in the distance just beyond the road is the big slough with the small tree lines in the distance being the town of De Smet.

And the necessary birth order picture taken under one of the big cottonwoods.
L to R: Samuel, Hannah, Ellie, Grace, Rachel, Nathan, Luke, Abby, Sarah, and Samuel.

We then drove out to the cemetery and saw the gravesites of Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, Grace, and her husband, the infant son of Laura and Almanzo, and various other people Laura mentions in her books.

Then after driving back to Melanie and Steve's for a quick, yet delicious supper, we drove south to finish up our vacation by visiting my brother-in-law and his family for a few days.


Ewe said...

I assumed you would go to the play at night, and that is why you picked the date that you did. I can see there is a lot to see besides the play. Was it busy on the play day?
I am taking a bus trip in August to Walnut Grove and I get to eat a lunch from Nellie's cafe-all provided free with our tax dollars from the sales tax increase a few years ago. I'm going by myself and leaving the boys home as they are too young to appreciate it. I can't wait! Thank you also for paying for my trip with your tax dollars! I'll have to make time to get over to DeSmet too.

Glenda said...

We didn't even realize it was the weekend of the play until about a week before we left, by then it was too late to make arrangements differently.

Yes it was busy, but not terrible. Last time we went it was in October and no one was around, but we also missed all the blooming prairie grasses and wildflowers and some of the extra displays they have out for when the biggest crowds are around.

Have fun on your trip! I think you will really enjoy it. And when you head to De Smet, don't forget the lovely B&B in Brookings. It is my favorite and I look forward to my next stay. :-)