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Finding Laura

September 19, 2011

After breakfast at Cracker Barrel, we left Springfield in a cloudy mist headed for Mansfield. Dorothy will fill you in later. By the time we left Mansfield, the sun was out and we were contemplating whether to stay and wait on the weather, as the front is just in front of us. We had lunch at a small local restaurant in town and decided to drive as far as we could till we hit rain.

The weather has put a bit of a dent in our trip and we’ve had to skip a lot of the scenic stuff but Rt60 was a nice ride through the Ozark mountains. It’s been quite a few days since we’ve seen our own shadows stretch out along the scenery. There was an awesome smell of burning wood from time to time mixed with sweet wildflowers.

At one point, we saw a horse chasing a cow around a field! Would love to come back sometime to spend more time in the Ozarks. We made it to Sikeston tonight on the Missouri/ Kentucky border.

Dorothy will tell you all about Mansfield………

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It was fantastic to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder’s house! This was the house that Laura and Almanzo built with their own hands after they left DeSmet, S. Dakota. It is in a very picturesque and peaceful setting in the Ozark Mountains.

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Touring Laura’s house, we saw her tabletop and desk top exactly as she left them. Her kitchen counters are all very short; they were custom-fit for Laura. She was only 4’11”, hence the nickname “Half Pint”. She loved her dishes and had many varieties in her kitchen. She had Almanzo put a window on each side of her work-counter because she hated getting her hands sticky, and this way she could look out the window while she worked.

Laura loved nature and wildlife, and she had 2 windows installed in her living room that she called her living nature windows. She could sit in her favorite chair by the windows and watch deer, rabbits, birds, ground hogs, and even the occasional bear!

There was a refrigerator in the kitchen that their daughter Rose got for them; unfortunately it didn’t fit in the space in the kitchen, (the broom closet), so Almanzo had to build onto the kitchen to house the refrigerator. You can see the extension next to the window.

About 1/4 mile away is another house that we also got to visit. It is called the Stone House, and it is a bit smaller than Laura and Almanzo’s farmhouse. This is a house that their daughter Rose had built for them that was supposed to be labor saving. It was all electric for one thing, and had all of the modern conveniences of the time.

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The funny thing is, they missed their farmhouse, and moved back after about 8 years!

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Laura was very active in the community, Eastern Star, real estate, and continued to visit the local schools well into her 80’s.

After visiting both homes, the museum, and of course the gift shop! we headed off to the cemetery to pay our respects.

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Almanzo died at age 90, and Laura wished to live to age 90 also. She died 3 days after her 90th birthday.
It was extremely exciting–but best of all is to have such a good pal who would put up with so much “Little House” trivia– just because!

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This is the picture of the out-cropping that Almanzo had to build onto the house to fit the new refrigerator.

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Here are the steps to the house; as you can see, they are very very shallow to accommodate Laura’s short stature.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dutch permalink
    September 19, 2011 11:13 pm

    Everything looks great. I loved the desert scenery when I was out there.
    The red colors are ammazing. While reading the Laura post, I kept thinking to myself, they did not have a refrigerator, then I caught up to reality. It happens from time to time. Can’t believe the weather you have run into, especially in the West. Thought this time of year was the dry season. I can see it really has not dampened your spirits though. How it is sunny and dry the rest of the way. I will keep checking up on you guys. Keep rollin rollin rollin down the road.

  2. maryjane permalink
    September 20, 2011 9:02 am

    goodmorning girls. well dorothy that made your day…i cant wait to hear the storys..yeah ha..you to are having a good time.im glade to hear you ate a cracker barrel. better then popcorn..lol.have a great ride..

  3. kenny permalink
    September 20, 2011 11:27 am

    Uh, I think i`m going to skip the comments on this Laura Ingalls thing. { gotta be a girl thing with that one } but cracker barrel sounds good. :} OH & hay john i,m starting to catch bluefish pretty good now. { sorry bout that ladys }

  4. Joey permalink
    September 20, 2011 6:27 pm

    A horse chasing a cow? That must have been funny!

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