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Little House – De Smet, SD – a must for Laura Ingalls Wilder fans

Walnut Grove was neat, but De Smet, South Dakota was just amazing! This is where most of Laura’s books are set, despite the TV show, and it’s a great experience. In and around town, we saw the surveyor’s house the Ingalls wintered in (small to us, but it was so big to Laura), the house Ma and Pa lived in later in life, the Wilder’s homestead,
the graves of most of the Ingalls family, Mr. Boast, and Rev. Brown (which was so sad!), Silver Lake, twin lakes Henry and Thompson, the original Loftus store, the site of the Wilder brothers’ store.
Then the most amazing part was the Ingalls homestead! It was set up so well with much to see and do. It’s on Pa’s original homestead claim and was like stepping back in time.
There was a dugout, a hay roof barn, well to drink from, a replica of their house to scale with interesting things to do inside. The kids even did laundry with a washboard and hung it to dry. We took a covered wagon ride to school (an original building from 1889) where the kids got to dress up and had a great class! There were pony rides and kittens to play with in the barn. Matt was super excited to use a real outhouse too. :) The kids made rope and corn cob dolls. Walking across the prairie and seeing the slough, you could just picture Laura there! There are 5 huge Cottonwood trees remaining that Pa planted too. The kids had to climb one, talk about touching history!
Driving between the twin lakes was so neat too. You could imagine Laura and Almanzo riding in the buggy and stopping for wild grapes.
If you ever have the chance to go to De Smet, do it! If not, do it anyway, it’s well worth it. The kids and I recognized everything from the books since we’re finished. It was interesting for Allen because he’s just coming to De Smet in the books. So he has a different viewpoint since now he will be able to picture it all as it happens. Lots of pictures below since I know many of you Laura fans will appreciate the details!


Rana said…
I love all of your photos. What an exciting trip. We are just starting to read Little Town on the Prairie. I cannot wait to show your pics to my kids. They will love these. We are hoping to head to the Dakotas and on to Wyoming next Spring/Summer for a family road trip. This is definitely on my list of places to stop. Following you now. Have a great weekend!