Before noon, Pa said, "Whoa!" The wagon stopped.
"Here we are, Caroline!" he said.
"Right here we'll build our house."
Laura and Mary scrambled over the feedbox and dropped to the ground in a hurry.
All around them there was nothing but grassy prairie
spreading to the edge of the sky.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie
The dugout we visited was dark and damp and cold and small with mud floors and oil-cloth windows. To think of a large family stuffed into a space the size of a bathroom for an entire winter was an eye-opening experience. It made me appreciate having a dishwasher to load and carpets to vacuum and a freezer to defrost.
As we celebrate the Ingalls family this month and their pioneering spirit, I thought it would be interesting to take a tour of their house on the prairie. The Ingalls home site in Kansas is now a museum. A replica of their cabin stands on the site. All of the following images come from the Little House on the Prairie Museum webpage.
The Little House on the Prairie nestles itself against a small grove of trees
for shade and protection from the Kansas wind.
Ma's carpet bag and washboard sit in the corner of the little cabin.
A small lap desk and oil lamp await letter-writing.
A log bed lies next to the hearth for warmth.
A steaming bowl of stew and cup of water are served for supper.
Laura and Mary's one-room schoolhouse sits quietly
after the children have all gone home for the day.
A grassy field invites little girls with bonnets and aprons to frolic in its meadow.
God bless every one of the pioneers who were content with little houses, whether they be in river banks or on prairies. I wouldn't trade places with them for the world, but my world wouldn't be the same without them . . .