Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walnut Grove

After spending a night at home in which we washed and dried all our clothes (and unfortunately David's cell phone), we repacked the next morning and headed west. We now turned our attention away from state parks and instead to visiting the sites of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

We had visited Walnut Grove, MN and De Smet, SD several years ago after reading aloud the series of books. But the younger three were too small to remember. So once again, I've been reading them aloud and off we went to see the sites again.

Our first stop was about fifteen miles east of Walnut Grove, where a farmer has built sod houses and planted prairie grass all around in order for visitors to see.

Walking through the prairie grasses to the sod houses.

Here is a typical sod house.

Here is a typical log cabin that was about the size of the dugout. The dugout didn't have the loft though.Then we continued to drive west to Walnut Grove. In Walnut Grove, there is a museum that houses some of the historical items that belonged to Laura or members of her family. There are also replicas of many of Laura's or her family's posessions, items that are from other people but of the same time period, and a whole room dedicated to the television show. There are also replicas of dugouts, jail cells, a church, and also a neat, little covered wagon out front which is perfect for a picture:
Of course the main attraction at Walnut Grove is a mile and a half north of town, next to a little creek. Here are some of the kids standing on "the big rock" Laura describes in her book, On the Banks of Plum Creek. Notice that it doesn't seem so big now, because as the silt is deposited it is continually burying the rock.

I think it is very nice that people have tried to replant the prairie grasses and flowers all along and surrounding the dugout so we have a better understanding of what it looked like in Laura's day. Fortunately for us, they have mowed a nice path for us to walk on. On the right is the bank of Plum Creek and behind to the right is the big rock.

After crossing the creek we followed the path to:

Can you see the depression?

Standing at the foot of the dugout looking toward the creek, which is at the foot of those trees.

Standing at the creek looking back up toward the dugout.

And this is the table land Laura describes in her book. It is behind the place where the dugout was and from this hill onward to the right forms a sort of table with the place I'm standing and the dugout lower than it.

After leaving Walnut Grove, we continued west to South Dakota where we stayed the night with our friends Steve and Melanie and their five children.

1 comment:

Ewe said...

Thanks for posting these pictures. I recently read the Little House series so it is interesting to see the photos. Our local library is taking a bus trip soon so I may get to go too.