Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Houses on the Prairie and the kindness of others

Greetings all!~ I am so glad that you stopped by for a visit today. I hope you are too! Today's post is chalked full of photos so please bare with me. I'll try to keep the statements inbetween short .
Some time back I had asked if anyone had a loose feathers pattern from Blackbird Designs titled "Where My Heart Blooms" that they would be kind enough to let me borrow. Well , some one was kind enough. I had thought I was going to be borrowing this pattern from someone else for a time so I didn't let her know right away that I still needed it. Anyway, I finally got my rear in gear ( or was it courage?!LOL) and let her know I still needed it. So without further ado, look what arrived in the mail from Catherine!!

She has such a kind heart and I am so excited! I went straight away and bought what I needed to work on it. I did dye some thread myself for parts of the house , so that cut into some stitching time.... but , look what I have done so far! ( so far frog free!)

Thank you so so much Catherine. You're a sweetie! While stitching I got A LOT of movie watching done. Oh where to begin! Well for the silly side I watch "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" with Kevin James, which actually turned out much better than I thought it would. "Julie and Julia" with Meryl Streep was another funny but good movie. Then of couse there has to be something to fill in the gap of romance.Those movies in that genre I watched were "Sleepless in Seattle" which I must have seen a hundred times, but I don't care! I had to watch "The Ghost and Mrs'. Muir " again. I know, know, it's been on quite a bit lately ,but I can't help it. Then came "Last Chance Harvey". I love .love , love Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman and I really liked this movie. Then yesterday afternoon brought the wonderful "Somewhere In Time" with Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve. That's another one that I must watch when it's on. I would love the visit the Grand Hotel someday. I also watched the remainder of "Scent of a Woman" which I didn't catch until it was half over.
Friday we made a wonderful trip to Mansfield Missouri. The last home of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are actually two homes on the property that they lived in. Here is the sign as you approach the first house and the museum and bookstore.

Here is a sideview of the house that they lived in the longest. The museum and bookstore are behind the house.

Unfortunately ,we could only take pictures of the outside of the house and the museum. No pictures are allowed inside so I can only tell you a little about that. We were amazed at the amount of personal belongings of the family and other artifacts that were there that had once belonged to them. Inside there were ton's a pictures of the family, furniture, a buggy, needlework ( some of which was done by Mary AFTER she was blind), clothing, early writtings, letters to Laura from school children , the Little House books in several languages, too too much to mention. Even "Pa's" fiddle. Which is actually taken out and played once a year for their "Wilder Days" celebration. We watched a little 10 minute film and in the background is a gentleman who was playing the fiddle. It still has wonderful tune! Here is a picture of the front of the first house.

The cabinets in this house is very low as Laura was a shorter woman than I realized. She was 4'11". Actually Almanzo was a short man as well, he was 5' 4". This house was truly great. So much character inside and I loved all of the wonderful antique furniture and dishes and table linens. In later years when Almanzo was older he had a lame leg and could no longer work the farm. During this time, he took up rughooking ( are you reading Deb?) and the rugs are placed all over the livingroom and library area. Inside the house , is a small room that Laura and Rose placed a copy of their books in after they were published. It's funny, there are two staircases in the house, one the Laura and Almanzo used and one that Rose used. The one that Rose used was only about as wide as half of a normal staircase , I kid you not! In the wall that the kitchen and diningroom shared , there is a square hole, that Laura used to push all the dishes and food through from one room to the other so she wouldn't have to keep walking back and forth.

Here is the National Register of Historical places plaque just as you come in the screen porch on the back of the house.

This was the spring they used on the property.

A stump of a pecan tree that Almanzo planted . I don't know why I took this picture.

Now on to the second property that they lived in here. Rose insisted that they have a "retirement" home and had this little cottage built for them. Eventhough they did live there for a while, when Rose went on one of her long excursion trips, Laura and Almanzo moved back "home" to the big house where they spent the rest of their years.

Rose had this house built to resemble the cottages she had seen in Europe. However this particular plan came from Sears and Roebuck building plans.

This little cottage was my favorite of the two houses. It has such charm. They are 3 french doors that lead out of the front . They are all kinds of nooks and cranies in this house where books and knick knacks can be displayed. The closets were very unique for the time, btw there are no closets in the other house. the closets here have a little pullout beveled drawer system that you see a lot in more modern closets , but they weren't in just any house back then. The bathroom is this little cottage is great with it's archway above the shower and wonerful little light fixture hanging down. I love the arch wooden door in the picture below. I will tell you that there is something that I didn't like about this house. The kitchen was very sweet and I loved the design. However, you had to go outside the back door and then into a door that led to the cellar. Once you were in that door, tucked inside a cubby in the wall where those steps were , was where the refrigerator was! Looks like they would have extended the back kitchen wall to accomodate the refrigerator like they did in the other house.

They are burried in the downtown Mansfield cemetery.

Rose's husband's grave is not here and we didn't think to ask where he was buried. Well actually , it didn't dawn on us that he wasn't here until we were at the cemetery, and had already left the tour.

Well , I hope I didn't bore you to tears today. It was very interesting for us and we'd love to go back when they have their festival in the fall so we can actually tour upstairs in the houses. They only do that once a year.

Thank you all for your comments and your visit today! I appreciate it so much!
'till next time,
don't be a stranger,


  1. What a COOL trip! We've read all the LHouse books and we own the DVDs from the TV series. Favs around here.

  2. Love the pics, esp. that cottage! How cute! I love watching "Little House on the Prairie"- I grew up on it! And re-read all the books a year or so ago. Great progress on your BBD! Wow!

  3. Oh, that would be such a fun trip! I LOVE the Little House series & books. Thank you for sharing it with us :)

  4. Hello Sharlotte!

    I am so glad to be back and can I tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post for today? I love "Little House on the Prarie," the TV show and the books. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip Mansfield and the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder! How interesting and your descriptions made me feel like I was there with you! It is nice to hear that there are so many personal affects there at the house and museum. And the needlework...WOW! What was it like??? I would love to travel there one day. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog. I appreciate your concern and the fact that you tried to email me means so much! I did not receive anything (that I know of, I don't always trust cyber mail either!) but it really means a lot that you thought of me! I am so blessed to have found such wonderful friends like you here in blogland!

    Looking at all of your gorgeous projects, it looks like you have been one busy bee! I love your blog has inspired me to change up mine a bit!

    Hope you have a good week and I look forward keeping up!


  5. What a great trip! I loved the books and tv series...still do as a matter of fact! I had no idea Laura and Almanzo were so little, but I guess that was probably pretty typical of the era.

  6. I LOVE LAURA INGALLS! I have read every book she has ever written at the very least 3 times each. I loved her when I was a child and I love her as an adult. :)
    THANK YOU for sharing all this information with us!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing pics of your trip with us! I love Laura - I considered her to be one of my "best friends" when I was a girl reading her books. How fun to see her "real" story and re-trace her steps. This post was such a treat! :)
    As for the stitching - yummy! What a beautiful project!!! I just love BB Designs - they're the best!! :)

  8. How sweet of Catherine to loan you the BBD pattern, Sharlotte. I just bought the same one on Ebay not too long ago. Haven't begun it yet, though...

    Thanks for sharing the Little House on the Prairie house photos with us--I still love that show and, of course, the books. Very interesting to read your explanations of the photos, too :)

  9. I am working on Where My Heart Blooms too! Unfortunately, I keep getting distracted by all the smalls I love to make. I will be watching your progress.

  10. interesting and enjoyable
    thanks for the tour
    happy stitches

  11. I had no idea there was such a wonderful museum for Laura Ingalls Wilder and family! It makes me want to put this place on my list for my Branson trip. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Goodness girl - you are stitching away at that pattern! Seems like yesterday I put it in the mail!

    I absolutely love Laura!! Have all of her books and if I had a daughter I would have used that name! Perhaps one day I can get there to visit! But thanks to your descriptions and pictures, I feel like I have!


Thank you for your comments. They just make my day! Thanks for your visit today!