Monday, August 10, 2009
Ingalls Homestead, DeSmet
Fans of pioneer author Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" series of books or the "Little House on the Prairie" TV series probably already know that DeSmet, South Dakota was the setting for several of the books.
Pa and Ma Ingalls raised their girls here on the Ingalls Homestead and in two houses in town, plus owned a store on Main Street. Tours of the houses are conducted by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society. The homestead just southeast of town is the site of a memorial marker and an attraction with hands-on pioneer activities.
The homestead and surrounding prairie are especially beautiful at sunrise. Those large cottonwood trees were planted by Pa and still provide plenty of shade.
The Ingalls Homestead attraction includes much more than I've pictured here. Several buildings are open for exploring and for learning about pioneer schools, rope making, hay twisting, etc. Authentic wagon rides are also offered along with camping on the site, including in covered wagons.
If you happen to have some young girls in bonnets and prairie dresses handy, making the perfect "Laura" photos is easy. And if you don't have the bonnets, never fear. They are available in the gift shop.
Find out more about visiting at Desmet,SD and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society and about the Ingalls Homestead here. DeSmet offers much more for the Laura fan, including Pa and Ma's graves at the city cemetery, the Loftus Store that they owned, etc.
Facebook readers, please check out Dakotagraph for much more than you see here.