Monday, September 23, 2013

Hudsons Head West - Part 2 - Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, SD

Wow!  If you have never been to Ingalls Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota, and are a fan of the series, I seriously recommend you go!  What a fabulous learning experience!!!  That is where we headed on our fourth day of vacation!



For a little back up information, the De Smet homestead is introduced in By the Shores of Silver Lake and is featured in four of the Little House on the Prairie Series books.  Laura spent the five years prior to marrying Almanzo Wilder on this homestead.  There is so much there, including the dugout, shanty, house, school and church!  The children had a blast learning through hands-on activities!

First we headed to play on the toys :)  Does anyone else remember when this was a "normal" outside activity?  My poor deprived children had to have it explained to them!





Then we climbed up in the covered wagon set up within "Laura's Travel Exhibit."  The metal hinge-like apparatuses that act as springs under the seat are innovative, but OY! I can only imagine how sore I would be traveling on that seat, day after day.




Then we headed over to the Dugout!  Being in one was eye-opening.  The area within the house was that of a bathroom.  For today's purposes, they have the roof held up with canvas, yet in Laura's time, it would have just been straw and dirt.  




The Burvee Shanty was our next stop.  Out front was a sharpening stone.  This little house was just that - little, yet was HUGE in comparison to the dugout.








The Hay-Roof Barn was our next stop.  This was the perfect place to talk to chickens, love on a momma cat and her kitten, and pet a calf.






The working well was a lot of fun to play with, and the garden gave us some inspiration... and encouragement considering our garden at home did so poorly this year!




To be continued...