Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Houses that Pa Built: Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pa Ingalls was a hard working man.  As we discovered on our journey to De Smet, he not only made a living as train surveyor and farmer, but he also built his family's homes both at the Homestead that they purchased on the edge of town and a nice big home in town in later years.

At our visit to the "in town" home of the Ingalls, you can really see the workmanship of his hands.  Not only did he build a home near the school that Laura and Carrie attended, it was just around the corner from their church and just blocks from Main Street.

Location. Location. Location.  Isn't that the motto of home ownership? Pa got the point.  He also built a home that allowed them to add on as they had the resources.  We saw the upstairs bedrooms that when Pa and Ma got older and needed income, they rented out to boarders and where when they were young, Carrie and Grace wold have slept.

We also got to try our hand at a few things here at back at the visitor center. Miss M  and Miss A got to play a replica fiddle that use to belong to Pa and Miss M played the organ that all the Ingalls girls had played.  At the Discovery Center, we even got to try our hands at Braille using peas and tried writing our names on a tablet with our eyes closed. Not easy.  P discovered that he could sew.  His mother would be so proud. Miss M decided that she likes wearing a bonnet, it keeps out the sun, and Miss A just enjoyed it all.

It was then time to go back to town, eat some lunch, and shop at the Loftus Store.  Homemade Lemonade and Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches at a cafe that doubles as a craft/general store.  If that doesn't say small town America I'm not sure what does.

What a fun morning.

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