South Dakota – Great Faces Great Places (Part 3)

by Funhog Family on July 13, 2011

School Days

Our family is a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie book series. As a family we have read through all the books, and Kendall has begun reading them on her own as well. In DeSmet, South Dakota we got the wonderful opportunity to tour the Ingalls’ home where Laura grew up, the Surveyor’s House her family lived in one winter on Silver Lake, and the school where Laura taught school. We learned some interesting facts, too. One example is why someone living so remotely would bother to spend a full day ironing clothes? She actually had to in order to kill all of the bugs that might being living in the clothing. Also, the dugout home they lived in was cool in summer and easy to keep warm in winter, but in the spring after the rains all sorts of critters – snakes/bugs/etc – that were buried in the dirt would hatch out into their dugout home.

The Ingalls Dugout Home

We also went to the Ingalls’ homestead, where we got to ride in a horse drawn cart, wash laundry, sew buttons, go to school, pet kittens/calves/colts, and ride ponies. They had replicas of the Ingalls’ dugout home, their one room shanty, as well as the homestead. Elijah’s favorite rule on the homestead was that everything should be touched and played with, which he did to his heart’s content! We stopped by the DeSmet News office for an interview with the town paper. While there, we found out that Carrie Ingalls actually worked in that same office long ago. It was also fun to hear of all the interesting characters that come through DeSmet. The reporter said that a man in a captain america outfit had walked through the town the day before on a 14 state quest to raise awareness for homeless veterans. It rained most of the time we were in DeSmet, so we decided to drive on instead of camp in the rain. An hour later with the rain still pouring we pulled into Watertown, South Dakota, where we made the decision to sleep in a hotel for the first time on this trip. It was a fun day as we got to live out some of the stories we love. What stories have touched your heart and who would you like to share them with?

Kendall's Colt



Ken Hawkins July 19, 2011 at 10:17 am

Still looks like fun to me.

I was thinking, what if you contacted Ford, and let them know you were doing a 50 state challenge in a Ford Van. They might want to interview you, and maybe make a commercial.

Funhog Family July 20, 2011 at 6:05 am

Excellent idea Ken, we love it! Do you know of a Ford contact that we might be able to start that conversation with?

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