Truthfully as a child I didn't read the Little House on the Prairie books and was completely devoted to the show. The show, as many know, is about 10% based on Laura's books and 90% pure fiction. That is fine with me, I have a deep respect for both. As a young girl growing up in central California we weren't too far from Sonora, which was where on location filming for the show took place. My mom, being her daughter's mother, booked us at the same motel the cast stayed at. I think I was 8 years old. We got to hang out at the pool with some cast and their children. Here I am with Pa, Michael Landon himself.
Yes I am trying to get away. He was asking for a kiss. This wasn't perverted, my mom was taking the picture...but it was creepy to me, so I refused. My mom and aunts on the other hand were tripping over themselves to trade places with me.
Now as a mother we own all the dvd's and I love watching them with the girls. I also read them the books. So this summer's road trip to visit 2 original Laura Ingall's sites was coming full circle.
Visiting her home in Mansfield, Mo. was amazing. I can not believe how well preserved and accessible her home and museum are to the public. It truly brought tears to my eyes standing there in the home she and Almanzo built together. (I also got a lot of style inspiration!)
De Smet, South Dakota is also fabulous. I can't believe we were in the actual surveyer's house where the Ingall's spent their first winter and that the Brewster school (Laura's first teaching job) and Loftus store (where they bought Pa's Christmas suspenders) are all there to explore.
The Ingall's Homestead was heaven. It is the original land they homesteaded although all the structures have been moved or built there for tourist. Because of this I thought it would be cheesy and I wouldn't like it... I loved it! (But I do love cheesy) The girls could run and play in barns with animals, drive a wagon team, have a lesson in an old school house, go into a sod house, pump water... you get the picture. There were very few other people there and if I could live there I might. I wondered why we go to Disneyland so often when a place like this exists.
Ruth almost the same age Laura was when she taught
The house Pa Ingalls built-amazing artifacts inside
still in the same location
can't get this in a classroom