Days Gone By

We live in an area that’s rich in history. A lot of pioneers settled in these hills in the 1800’s and Laura and Almanzo Wilder were among them. 

Yesterday we went to see Rocky Ridge, the home where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her Little House books. 

We’ve been there before a few times, but this year there is a new visitors center, gift shop, and museum, so that was quite a treat. 

There’s something comforting about being on their land. It’s kind of a cross between feeling completely “at home” at a grandmother’s house, mixed with the nostalgia of stories that seem to come to life while looking around the property. 

Just being there, I can picture the scenes from the Rose Years books. Can you imagine Abe and Swiney traipsing through the woods and Alva and Effie living back in those hills? 

Right now their yard is blanketed in yellow and white wildflowers and there is a dogwood tree blooming. Spring is so beautiful in the Ozarks. 

After our tours, we stopped at a park that’s across the street from a bank that opened in 1892. 

It’s pretty neat to stand under those oak trees and imagine the wagons and train whistles of long ago, during those days gone by. 

33 thoughts on “Days Gone By

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 7:00 pm

      That made me smile. What a great show.

      At the new museum, there is a section about the tv show and there is a giant picture of the whole family from the show. It’s so neat.

      They have reruns of the show on here during the day. Pretty neat to watch once in a while.

  1. sandyjwhite April 5, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    As I was reading this it occurred to me how much you enjoy history. You give a good deal of consideration to visualizing how things were in the past when writing about your surroundings. This is a unique perspective you bring to situations and one you might want to capitalize upon even more in your writing. Just a thought, Jessica.

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 7:07 pm

      Yes, history is kind of my thing. I love how you noticed that. What you said, it means a lot to me, especially with your writing career. I figure you just call it like you see it and if you see it, it is worth some serious looking into.

      I didn’t write much in March, for a combo of reasons, but I feel kind of like I’m searching for my writing voice, if that makes any sense. Thank you so much for your insight. I am going to toss it around in my head and heart and see where it goes. I appreciate you!

      • sandyjwhite April 5, 2017 / 8:03 pm

        Whatever you decide, it has to be right for you. I think when a writer has a passion for their subject and develops and stays true to their own style, things come together. Just my two cents worth.

        • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 8:26 pm

          Your two cents are worth way more than two cents. I hope this doesn’t sound silly, but I am going to write down what you said and read it about a zillion times. I am looking for my calling and I feel like it’s about a dozen steps in front of me. I get a feel for it, then it runs ahead… I think you’re great, by the way. :)

          • sandyjwhite April 5, 2017 / 8:44 pm

            This may sound a bit odd, but it seems to me that sometimes if we stop searching so hard, what we are seeking finds us.

          • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 8:49 pm

            In my heart, I know you’re right. And, I am standing at my counter, smiling. Maybe, I need to stop trying so hard and let it happen. Thank you. Again.

          • sandyjwhite April 5, 2017 / 10:24 pm

            You are welcome.

          • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 11:29 pm


    • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Have you been to any of her museums? You would TOTALLY love this one. Pa’s fiddle is here and so are the coins Laura and Mary got for Christmas when Santa Claus sent Mr. Edwards to deliver the presents. Laura’s lap desk that she used while traveling with Almanzo and Rose to Missouri is there, too. Sooooooo much wonderful stuff. Even presents Almanzo gave to Laura, like a book and a little porcelain jewelry box. Oh, and all of the calling cards Laura collected from her friends when she was a girl. The only thing I didn’t see that I hoped to was Ma’s little china keepsake that she moved from place to place and always put on Pa’s shelf. It’s really a cool place.

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 8:50 pm

      It was Ma’s shepherdess that I was looking for. I googled it. Turns out it’s whereabouts are a mystery. Pretty interesting stuff.

  2. thechickengrandma April 5, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    My husband owns all the DVD’s of every episode of Little House on The Prairie!
    I remember my home-schooling sister-in-law from MO telling me she took her kids to this same place to learn their history lesson. Love the photos!

    • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      I wish there was a LOVE button here instead of just a Like. Your husband is like my hero!!

      Isn’t that neat that your sister-in-law took her kids there???? I need to meet her! Next time you’re down, maybe I can meet you both!

      Thank you- it was such a dark day. Hard to get a good picture of a white house when the sky is gray. But, I figured if some of you guys haven’t been there, you’d like to “be there” along with me. I think most pictures of the white house are from the front. I love seeing the back door. Can you imagine how many times that screen door slammed shut over the years? Also, the chimney is really cool. One time when we were there we got to go upstairs in the white house. It is a rare occasion that they open it up, so that was neat.

      • thechickengrandma April 5, 2017 / 9:37 pm

        A couple years ago….my husband and I went through DeSmet. We made sure to stop and see where the Ingalls had lived when they were there. It was really neat!

        • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 9:46 pm

          What??? I’m so jealous! Their time in the Dakota territory sounded really interesting and hard. I’m glad you went. There’s something about stepping into somebody’s life for a few moments.

          Have you been to the place in Minnesota? I’d love to go there. I heard that the mound is still there for the dug out in Plum Creek.

          We are reading “Old Town in the Green Groves” by Cynthia Rylant about the Ingalls’ when they moved to Burr Oak, Iowa. It’s a bit of a hard read, they lose their baby boy to sickness. But, it’s interesting, too.

          • thechickengrandma April 5, 2017 / 9:50 pm

            I have not been to Walnut Grove …… yet. I have a feeling we will get there sometime.

          • Jessica April 5, 2017 / 11:30 pm

            Oooo!! Holler if you do!!

  3. thejuicenut April 6, 2017 / 6:06 am

    My son and I read all the Little House books when he was very small and watched te tv series. My daughter read those same books when she was an adult and recently has been reading them with her youngest son. Every few years I watch the programmes again. My mum is 86 and loves watching the reruns. It’s not often you find books and tv programmes that appeal to all ages, sexes and generations in the same family. Thank you so much for these photos, I bet you can almost feel their presence 😊🌷

    • Jessica April 6, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Oh my goodness, that is a range of ages. I bet Miss Laura never would’ve guessed that her stories live in so many hearts. Yes ma’am, especially so since you can see things as she left them. The bed is made and you can see where that sat in front of the fireplace.

      At the stone house that Rose bought them from the Sears catalog, there are many windows and lots of built in shelves holding knick knacks. The room I love most in the stone house is the kitchen. It’s perfectly small and I can just imagine her making breakfast in there. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I wish they allowed indoor pictures, but they don’t. 😊😊

  4. April 6, 2017 / 9:23 am

    I LOVE this! beautiful pics and how sweet that things were preserved-Made me feel like I missed them like family.

    • Jessica April 6, 2017 / 9:30 am

      If you ever get to Missouri, look me up! I’ll take you there. You would love it. Not just the house and museum either. The land, sky, and hill just feel like a home you’ll be surprised you never saw but feel like you know. ❀️

      • April 9, 2017 / 10:07 pm

        If I ever go to Missouri-I am looking you up! I could go rambling with you and would love it!

        • Jessica April 9, 2017 / 10:09 pm

          My door is OPEN. I’ll bake you cinnamon rolls!!!

        • Jessica April 9, 2017 / 10:10 pm

          If you step one foot on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s place, you’d feel right at home.

  5. PaperPuff April 10, 2017 / 12:13 pm

    Ah, I came here after reading your next post, if you see what I mean. I guess I was spot on with the Little House on the Prairie then! Must be a fascinating place to visit.

    • Jessica April 10, 2017 / 12:25 pm

      Oh my gosh, how cool is that? That you saw the other post first and thought it looked like it. LOVE THAT.

      It would be really easy to just say that it is a neat place and leave it at that, but if you like history, it’s more like walking into a legacy, if that makes any sense at all.

      Readers of all of her books sort of have a connection to her stories and life because she shared it with all of us. Some of the items she talks about in her books are there. Like you can really see them. A bit surreal. Stories come to life. :)

      • PaperPuff April 10, 2017 / 2:23 pm

        Definitely sounds like a great experience!

        • Jessica April 10, 2017 / 2:26 pm

          We like history! :)

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