Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ingalls Homestead

A replica covered wagon.  We can't get over how small it is!  Imagine fitting everything for your whole family into one of these and then heading off across America - or Australia!

Our version of Laura and Mary peeking out the back of the wagon as they traveled along.

OK, now we're really getting crowded.  Anybody changing their mind about the trip?

Replica claim shanty, though we think Pa's was only half of this!  Actually, this was the home of a family who came to this area about the same time as the Ingalls.

Replica dug out - remember Plum Creek? It is smaller than the cab of our car!

They have added a window to this dug out just so visitors can see inside! Yes, that's snow piled up beside us....brrrrr.
Tony inside the dug out or 'soddy'.  You can see the layers of sod which make up the walls.  When it rained, the roof would continue to drip for several days!  Just imagine Ma when that cow's foot came through the roof!

We missed getting a photo of the outside of this house, but it is a replica of Ma and Pa's Little House on the Prairie copied from the paperwork Pa submitting when 'proving up' on his claim!  Briony-Anne is trying out Ma's cook stove.

This house had four rooms, then Pa added this larger room to the east where they placed the organ for Mary and Ma's sewing machine.

The famous what-not!  But not the real shepherdess - that seems to have gone missing.

Garion, trying out Mary's organ......

This barn had exhibits about the prairie plants and animals.  In summer it houses horses for the hands on activities and rides provided for tourists.

Ed had a go at roping this very docile calf - without much success.

Bryce and Hamish loved seeing and trying out all sorts of old farming equipment like hay rakes, seeders, plows, mowers, harrows, manure spreaders, bobsleds and wagons - all horse drawn.  They were able to climb all over the equipment, pull leavers and see how they worked. 'It was really cool!'

Just like home - only no dam.

The infamous Big Slough - you say 'slew' - where Laura and Carrie got lost that day.  Of course, the grass was a lot taller then.  The town of De Smet is one mile straight ahead but they had to walk around it most of the time.
This was a fantastic museum because you could touch and explore the exhibits and they weren't behind glass.

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