"Did that sign really say $8.00 per person?!" asked my sister-in-law incredulously. I replied that since I had forced her and her husband to visit this museum with us, she didn't have to worry about the cost. They had invited us to join them at nearby Silver Dollar City when I had mentioned coming to visit The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home. But since I had driven, they were stuck with me and my agenda...
And boy, were they glad! We toured the home that the Wilders had built, enthusiastically taking in all the details of Laura's and Almanzo's life where she wrote the beloved books. I had just finished reading the series to my boys (ages 9, 7, and 5), and we were sorry they had to end, so I planned a "field trip" to see her home (after attending the LHOTP Festival in Independence, KS a couple days prior).
The house tour was interesting. The boys remembered the Christmas clock Almanzo had given Laura for one of their first Christmases which sits in the dining room where it still works. It was very easy to imagine Laura sitting in the living room or on one of the porches. She's obviously still a very real presence at her house.
The museum was the best part, I think, because we could see Pa's fiddle which meant so much to Laura - and therefore she makes it mean something special to her readers with her vibrant way with words. We also saw the glass "Give Us this Day" plate which was one of the few things saved from the fire of Laura and Almanzo's first house.
We also toured the English style home that their daughter Rose had built for them in 1928. This is included with the price of admission. After touring the grounds, we left and paid our respects at Laura's, Almanzo's, and Rose's graves not too far away.
"So, yes," my sister-in-law sighed as we left, "I feel we definitely got our money's worth!"
Boys or girls, recently read her books or never read her books, living nearby or just driving nearby, this museum is more than worth the price of admission. I was happy to see plenty of people visiting the Monday we were there. I asked if today was normal as far as attendance, and the docent answered that it was a slow day. I'm happy to know that Laura still has many fans. (Especially when you realize that her daughter was famous long before Laura was.) I'm sure because her story - although historical - resonates with the true character of people of any century.
My boys are still talking about this wonderful place!
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