the surveyors' house

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society of De Smet has done a wonderful job preserving the buildings and grounds where Laura and her family once lived.

In her book, On the Shores of Silver Lake, Laura and her family moved to De Smet, SD, in 1879 and spent their first winter living in the railroad surveryors' house. We were able to go inside and tour this house which Laura considered a "two-story mansion." No one on the tour is allowed to take pictures, but if you've read her books, I'm sure you can imagine it just as Laura saw it, because she's such a descriptive writer. In fact, every place we visited last week was exactly how I imagined it to be. When we drove through this little town back in January, I didn't even need a map to find my way around. I felt as though I had been there before.

On this same site are 2 other buildings. One of the buildings is a replica of the Brewster School, in which Laura took her first teaching job. The other building (which you can see in the left hand corner of the picture above) is the public school that Laura and Carrie attended.

The school building had been turned into a family residence. When the historical society bought this building, they removed several layers of wallpaper from the walls and found the original blackboards beneath.

 Outside the Brewster School

  Sticks of hay, just like Laura and Pa made in their lean-to during the Long Winter.

 Right across the street from the Surveyors' House is the Ingalls-Wilder Park. I loved that the picnic tables have red and white-checked tablecloths on them--just like Ma's. 

1 comment:

gramma said...

Great pictures, and I love the adorable subjects that you have in them.