Since we were going to be driving through south west Minnesota and would arrive in Minneapolis sometime later that night, we thought it would be a great opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Walnut Grove, home of one of America's most beloved children's authors~ Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Seeing the actual place described and written about was so exciting to me. I've read most of the Little House book series to the children over the years, as well as watched the television show faithfully as a girl. Today, it shows on our local PBS station and it's always been a favorite with the kids. Anyway, I couldn't go past this region without making a stop.
There's really not much to Walnut Grove today. We arrived just a half an hour before the little museum would close. We were generously led in for no charge. So fun to see some of her handmade quilts, dishes, books (Even got to see Pa's Big Green Book with the animal illustrations that Laura loved to look at on quiet Sunday afternoons~ Little House in the Big Woods describes this, I think.) Also, some of the television show memorabilia, 1880's artifacts, and children's hands-on and educational pioneer life exhibits. I wished we had more time.
A mile north of town was the actual dugout spot right on the banks of the real life Plum Creek. They've tried to maintain the same feel and environment as it must have been from the times of On the Banks of Plum Creek. Couldn't imagine how the Ingalls family lived this life with the stifling humid heat and swarms of pesky mosquitoes; walking barefoot through thick foliage filled with stinging nettle in long sleeved dresses. Even though, it must have been such a simple, happy family-centered life.