A couple of weeks ago, I documented my trip to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, but my family made other stops during this vacation. I’d always wanted to visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri, and it was on our way to Oklahoma. When we came back home, we traveled by Independence, Kansas, so as a bonus excursion, we toured the Little House on the Prairie Museum.
Rocky Ridge Farm in Missouri is where Laura and Almanzo settled after leaving South Dakota. At this site you can take a guided tour of the farmhouse, wander through the Rock House on your own, and enjoy the museum.
One of the neatest parts about the farmhouse is that it remains as Laura left it when she died. The wood for the kitchen fire is sitting in the same place, and so is Almanzo’s pill box next to his bed. Photography is prohibited in the house, so I don’t have any exciting interior shots, but visitors are able to see the desk where Laura wrote her Little House books. I loved Laura’s library nook in the living room. The shelves where squared off in a corner that housed their book collection. (I want one like it.)
The museum is a new building where you can view a movie about Laura’s life, browse the gift shop, and peruse artifacts that belonged to Laura, Almanzo, and her family.
We felt adventurous, so we walked an uphill trail that winds through the woods and leads to the Rock House where Laura and Almanzo lived for seven years. Their daughter Rose built this adorable cottage with modern conveniences, but because the place never felt like home to Laura, they moved back into the farmhouse. The walk was about a third of a mile, but the day was hot, so our trek felt longer. I’d recommend driving unless you visit on a temperate day!
The next location we visited was The Little House on the Prairie Museum, and it has a recreation of the cabin Laura describes in Little House on the Prairie. The well Pa dug is still there, and it helped historians locate the homestead site.
In addition to the cabin, there’s a small gift shop, a schoolhouse, and a post office. The Ingalls family would’ve encountered these building had they stayed in Kansas long term. This was a fun stop that helped bring Little House on the Prairie to life.
If you have a chance to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder sites, I can recommend the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum and the Little House on the Prairie Museum.