Friday, September 5, 2014

Photo Friday- A Visit to THE Little Town on the Prairie Part 1

I don't know how many times I have driven by the sign for De Smet and thought that I really needed to stop there. Two weeks ago I realized that childhood dream and visited the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder in De Smet, SD.  I loved reading the Little House series when I was a child and also have many fond memories of watching the show at my grandparents' home in Minnesota.  I even had a bonnet that I wore at recess at school and yes, I got made fun of but I wore it anyway.  So when my good friend, Katie, said that she also has always wanted to visit De Smet we made plans to go.

I really wanted to have the full Laura Ingalls experience so in preparation I reread all of the Little House series in two weeks!  I must say that reading these books again as an adult and a parent was really rewarding.  I picked up on things I'm sure that I never noticed as a child.  With all of the books read and our reservations made we were off!

The first item on our agenda was the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic homes tour and museum.  They have both a walking and driving tour of the different places in De Smet.  We started with the guided tour which started at the Surveyors' House.  If you want to know more about these buildings I would suggest reading the books or visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Homes website.  Having just read all the books it was almost surreal to be in this home that the family actually lived in.  Laura's descriptions were fresh in my mind and now I could clearly envision exactly what she was describing. 
Next on the tour were the replica of the Brewster School and the First School of De Smet (the actual school that Laura and Carrie attended).  It was so fun stepping back in time in these one room school houses.  I just loved the desks and the original blackboard.  
Our final stop on the guided tour was the Ingalls home.  Charles built this home in De Smet in 1887 and it was the final home they lived in.  When I first saw this home it reminded me of my grandparents' home.  The only photos we could take in this home were if we were playing the instruments.  Of course I had to fiddle around. 
My dear friend Katie took this photo.  This was a happy accident since I forgot to change the settings from all of our outdoor photos from earlier. 
Another photo by Katie with the right settings this time. 
Katie had to take a turn on the fiddle too. 
We then did the walking part of the tour and walked up and down Calumet Avenue.  In the store front of every building is a photo and story of what building was there during the time of Laura's books.  It was so neat to see all of those different parts of history.
Charles Ingalls helped build this Congregational Church.  It was the first church erected in De Smet.   
We also drove around town and saw a few extra sights including the homestead of Laura and Almanzo as well as the De Smet Cemetery where Ma and Pa Ingalls are both buried. 

That concludes our first day.  I plan on putting part two of our trip up tomorrow.  There was just too much to include in one post.  I'll leave you with these quotes.  Thanks for stopping.   

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