My Laura Ingalls project (release date fall 2017) is taking me to her homesites, including last week’s visits to Missouri and Iowa. Look for lots of random Laura posts from me.
First I went to Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri, where she spent most of her adult life. The farm isn’t included in the Little House series, which ends with the devastating first four years of the Wilders’ marriage. But Rocky Ridge is the museum with all the goodies: Pa’s fiddle, her friends’ yellowed calling cards, the little teapot jewelry box she got for Christmas in Walnut Grove, the first sampler she ever sewed, and much, much, much, much more.
In addition to the museum, you can tour the farmhouse Laura and Almanzo built one room at a time, plus the “Rock House,” which daughter Rose built for her parents so they’d have an easy-to-maintain retirement home. They moved into the cottage while Rose took over the farmhouse. As soon as Rose moved east, however, they moved right back into the farmhouse.
There’s a no-photo policy inside any of the buildings, including the gift shop. That’s right: You can’t take photos of their t-shirts and mugs. All I have are photos outside, including these: