Laura Ingalls Wilder Week: The Museum and Gift Shop

Last week was spring break for me, so I took the time off to visit my dad and my grandmother, who is ill with cancer, in Missouri. My grandma finished her last radiation treatment while we were there, so we are hoping that things look good and that she’ll start to get stronger and be able to care for herself again.

While there, my dad took us to the Laura Ingalls Wilder house in Mansfield. I have been wanting to visit this historic site for some time, but we were last there during Christmas, and the house is not open until March 1. I had good timing for this trip, and we took a day to visit the site.


So this week on my blog, I’ll be posting all about that day trip and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

To see Monday’s post, click here. To see Tuesday’s post, click here.

After touring both houses, we went back to the museum and gift shop next to the first home. In the museum, they had Pa’s beloved fiddle, lots of family pictures and documents, clothing worn by Laura, original printings of her books, copies of her books in various languages, sets of dishes and china, Rose Wilder Lane’s writing desks, a doll set of the Little House on the Prairie characters, and much more. It was lovely, but I couldn’t enjoy it and give as much attention to everything as much as wanted because my four-year-old Daphne was there. She took to running around wildly, wanting to touch and exclaim over everything. It was all behind glass so she really couldn’t do any harm, but I didn’t want the docent to yell at me.

laura sewing machine

My favorite item, besides Pa’s fiddle, was the jewelry box Laura received one Christmas. She described it in one of the books, and it was right there.

In the gift shop, I bought a few postcards to frame of Laura and I also bought a poster about her. I had it framed when I got home. My dad got me a bookmark with a beautiful quote by her on it.


I loved being able to bring home some keepsakes of this trip.


19 thoughts on “Laura Ingalls Wilder Week: The Museum and Gift Shop

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  1. So neat! I would love to visit this museum. I was an avid Little House on the Prairie reader as a kid. My mom would read her books to me every night.

  2. Emily, we love visiting historical places/ museums like this. When we were in Savannah, we visited the home of the founder of the Girl Scouts and it was pretty cool. Thanks for sharing. BTG

      1. Savannah is a neat place. Don’t go in the summer and do not wear heels down to the cobblestone street along the river. Lots of B&Bs that are convenient walks to everything.

  3. i LOVE her books and started rereading the series now that i live in a cabin in the woods myself! we have a composting toilet, gravity fed well and we heat the house with the wood from the trees on our property, i read her books for inspiration and humbleness! Cant wait for the warmer spring days to start our gardens and get some chickens in the yard!

      1. it was too funny, when i moved in the cabin was filled with books, amongst them i found an old copy of her first one, and i read a page or two before i go to sleep. such lovely dreams to try and make come true!

  4. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Emily. It sounds like you had a great day out. 🙂 It’s so lovely to visit classic authors’ homes, isn’t it? Jane Austen’s house is on my list. The house where she was born is no longer standing (it was destroyed) but Chawton Cottage, where she lived from 1809 – 1817, is now a museum. She did a lot of her writing there. I hope I can visit it someday.

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