The Gospel Music Channel (GMC) had the movie “Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder” followed immediately by “Beyond the Prairie 2…”. I thoroughly enjoyed these movies, so much so, in fact, that I later pulled out my old book on Laura and started reading it. It had been years since I had read it, and I had forgotten some of the details of this “true story” of Laura and her family.
They sure moved around a lot! Pa’s wanderlust far exceeded my own, and he dragged his little family all over kingdom come. Of course, many of the “little houses” are gone, but there are still a couple of Ingalls’ places to be seen. According to the book, Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, and Grace are buried in a prairie graveyard southwest of the town of De Smet, South Dakota. In addition to open prairie, there are actually a couple of homes that you can tour while there, including the “Surveyor’s House” (the first house in which they lived when they moved to De Smet), and the house on Third Street (the last house Pa built for the family). For more information, click here. I would so love to go there!
But, of course, you can’t think of Laura and Ma and Pa without thinking of Walnut Grove, Minnesota. The book I am reading was published in the 1970’s and I was surprised to read, “The town has grown very little since Laura’s day…” Really? Still? I was intrigued. A quick internet search revealed that the population of Walnut Grove in 2000 was 1,098 people! Amazing! I think there are more people than that in my little neighborhood! Of course, Walnut Grove offers all things Ingalls, and I would love, love, love to go there! (For information, click here.) Will I be able to sweet talk Robert into taking me? I can’t really say. Would my mother like to have another wild adventure with me? I’m not so sure. Maybe I could talk Mandy and Miss Popper into going with old Lolee to visit Walnut Grove! After all, Miss Popper and I WILL be reading the “Little House” books as soon as she is old enough to enjoy them. What a great time we could have! (Miss Popper’s Lolee will buy her one of everything in the gift shop, if Paisley wants her to!) This is definitely on my “bucket list”!
The more I look at Walnut Grove, the more I like this little town. After all, I’m sure there’s some farm land there, it’s not too crowded, and it even has snow! A quick check of homes for sale there show that they are certainly in our price range. (Although I am very fond of moose, and Wyoming definitely has moose. Are there moose in this area? I wonder.) Maybe I could work at the museum (how fun would that be?!). Now, if they just needed a hydrologist or civil engineer…