THE FINAL STOP ON MY LAURA INGALLS WILDER TOUR!

We started full time RVing September 1, 2017. A little less than year later, in the summer of 2018, we were in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.

I have been a lifelong fan of the author Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote the Little House On the Prairie series of books (and I’m a HUGE fan of the television show!). When I discovered how many of the places were near where we were staying in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa where Laura was born and the family lived, I just KNEW I had to visit each place! Therefore, in the summer of 2018, I started my quest of visiting all locations that had anything to do with Laura or the Ingalls family.

If you are interested in reading those previous posts, you can search this site and find the year 2018. You should be able to find all my posts on this topic between 2018 to 2019. If you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan like me, you might really enjoy reading those posts.

This final stop was near Malone, New York. If you’re not familiar with Laura Ingalls Wilder, she married Almanzo Wilder from upstate New York. Well, here is a hint as to where we went:

Yep! If you guessed Almanzo Wilder’s boyhood home, you are correct.

This is the site of the original Wilder family homestead. Almanzo’s father, James Mason Wilder, purchased the property in 1840, cleared the land, and built the buildings. James Wilder and his wife, Angeline, raised six children: Laura (dob: 1844; not to be confused with Laura Ingalls), Royal (1847), Eliza Jane (1850), Alice (1853), Almanzo (1857), and Perley (1869).

Almanzo’s family was considered a wealthy family back in the mid 1800s. I won’t bore you with a lot of narrative about Almanzo’s life (although I did learn a lot from our tour guide!). I will just share some of my photos and add captions when needed.

This is the restored original Wilder house. Those giant trees to the left and the right of the house are over 200 years old, so they were there when the Wilders lived here.
There are several barns, a chicken coup, and a corn crib all surrounding the barn lot. They built the barns this way to provide protection for the animals during inclement weather and winter storms. These are not the original barns (originals were destroyed in a fire), but they are replicas of the barns Almanzo described for his wife, Laura Ingalls Wilder, when she was writing the book Farmer Boy.
Corn crib.
South barn which is quite large houses sheep, cattle, hogs, and a feed room. The small building in the back is the pump house.
View of the barn lot from the south barn.

From this point on, this set of pictures are from the other various barns. I didn’t write down any of the information from our tour guide, so I don’t remember which pics were in which barn. 😬

View of the barn lot from the barn on the other side (from the picture above).

Next we toured the house. This is the original house in which the Wilders lived. It had to have quite a bit of restoration done to it. Dorothy Belle Smith was the person responsible for the discovery and preservation of the Wilder Homestead. This site is dedicated to her.

Again, our tour guide was very knowledgeable about about the Wilders’ lives while living in this house, as well as the extent of the restoration. It was interesting to learn that during the restoration another well was found underneath the pantry. Again, I will just share my photos of the house with an occasional caption.

Kitchen.
Pantry.
Dining room.
Between the dining room and the front parlor was the wood stove used to heat the house. There was a cutout in the wall so the heat would easily disperse between the rooms. This is the view from the dining room.
This is the view from the parlor.
Parlor.
This is Almanzo’s parents’ “master bedroom” which is just off the dining room. One can barely turn around in this tiny room. That blue quilt on the bed is actually Almanzo’s mother’s (it’s only half of the quilt; the other half is at Mansfield, Missouri, in the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum)
This is the guest room, birthing room, or the room for an ill family member.
Next, we went upstairs (basically an attic) to the boys’ room. The boys’ room was the open room into which one walked after climbing the stairs. That opening on the right side of the picture is the stairs which were VERY narrow and VERY steep.
This is the bed in which Almanzo AND his brother slept!
To the left of the boys’ room was the unfinished part of the attic where father and the boys would do their woodworking making shingles and other things for the house and barns.
To the right of the boys’ room is the girls’ room. This was a large room with two beds (one on each side of the room), two closets, and a huge weaving loom in the center.
The loom between the two girls’ beds.
There was a replica of a schoolhouse on the property but it was NOT the schoolhouse that Almanzo attended.

The original schoolhouse where Almanzo attended school was located about a mile away from the Wilder homestead. It was in too bad of shape to even try to move it over to the homestead, so they built the replica. Since I have seen so many schoolhouses from this time period of history, I decided to drop out of the group and tour. We had a really long drive back to the RV, and I knew my husband was getting a little anxious to get “on the road” back to the RV.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

VERMONT

On July 28th, we got up and discussed our plans for the day. On a whim, we decided to do something TOTALLY UNEXPECTED. I won’t tell you exactly what we are doing, but I will tell you this: We had planned to drive over to Vermont just to see some of it, but we drove all the way across Vermont instead. Vermont is one GORGEOUS state!!

Our first stop was just inside the Vermont state line at a rest stop/welcome center. It was a nice facility staffed with a very kind, helpful man. Outside it had an “unusual” piece of American history as you will see in the pics below.

Could this be the phone booth that Superman changed in?

We drove through the countryside until we reached the capital of Vermont, Montpelier. It is a lovely small town with some very interesting buildings and houses, and the capitol building is stunning.

Montpelier has SOOOO many unique looking houses like these!
A view of the capitol from the bridge as we crossed the river.

We wanted to eat lunch in Montpelier at one of the street side outdoor eating places, but it was so busy and there were NO places available in which to park. After driving around, back and forth, for quite some time, we gave up. Instead, we drove down the highway a little further and found a town called Waterbury. In that quaint little town, we found a little place called Park Row Cafe. The cafe didn’t look like much, BUT they had THE BEST hamburgers we have eaten in a very long time! We got our order “to go” and walked across the street and ate in the town park. It was a lovely day and a beautiful park right by the old train station.

After lunch we headed west towards Lake Champlain. There are several places to cross the lake. Several of them require a ferry ride across the lake. We decided to drive north along the lake and cross at the northern most crossing. Here we could cross via two bridges.

In the middle of the second bridge is this sign.

Welcome to the state of New York! The first intersection we came to after getting off the bridge had this sign.

When we looked right, we could see the Canadian border crossing!

We spent the night in Malone, New York. Tomorrow we go to our destination to visit an historic site.

So, for now ….. “On the Road Again!”

Betty

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