Elderberries & Laura Ingalls Wilder Farmhouse

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me!  I went with my mom, my friend Erin and our children to the Laura Ingalls Wilder farmhouse and museum!  This was not the area in Minnesota or the town in South Dakota where Laura grew up as a girl.  This is the place that Laura and Almanzo moved to when Rose was a small child – the “land of the big red apple” ~ Mansfield, Missouri!

Not only do I have a passion for herbs and home remedies, I’m a HUGE lover of history and antiques as well ~ especially from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  Let’s just say it was like heaven on earth for me!I didn’t just browse through the museum, enjoying Almanzo and Laura’s memorabilia, I like to read every detail and letter written.  The museum contained Pa’s original fiddle that he passed down to Laura.  His playing helped them survive The Long Winter.  There were items made by Almanzo for Laura and things given and made by friends and her sisters.  Do you know Nellie “Oleson’s” last name was really “Owens”?  There are only two names that Laura changed in her books, and Nellie was one of them – probably because they weren’t exactly good things said about her. ๐Ÿ™‚  Laura has a name card that Nellie gave her in school, plus several others from her classmates.  It was a popular thing in her school days to make name cards and exchange them! 

I’ve read the whole series that Laura wrote, plus most of the books written by Roger Lea Macbride about Rose.  I enjoy reading the books to my girls, too.  Laura had some great character qualities about her that she learned from her mom and passed on to Rose.  
Here’s a quote from Laura:

 “It is best to be honest and truthful, to make the most of what we have, to be happy with simple pleasures and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.”
It was amazing to see these things that I’ve read about!  The farmhouse was very neat (they wouldn’t let us take indoor pictures :'( ).  It was left just as Almanzo and Laura left it when they died.  The original kitchen, living room/bedroom, and stairs to the loft where Rose slept are still there.  Laura was only 4 feet 11 inches, so Almanzo made the counters, sink and baking cabinet extra low for her.  I would have to bend over to prepare food on them!  (I’m 5’7″)  There were also more rooms added later in their life as their farm prospered and they could afford it.  Needless to say, I was the last one out of the house, and the worker was at my heels wanting to lock things up until the next tour – I could have stayed in there a lot longer – maybe I can make another trip? I really think they should give us more tour time.  I did have unlimited time in the museum. ๐Ÿ™‚ 
The front of the farm house
The back of the house.  The top row of windows is where Rose’s loft was.
My girls and one of their friends.
Chatting on the front porch
Me and my baby in the yard where Rose played all those years…
Me and my girlies on the front porch.  My oldest and a few of her friends dressed in pioneer dresses ~ it was so fun for them! ๐Ÿ™‚  My other 2 older ones dressed in prairie-like clothes too.
The rock house that Rose purchased for her parents about 1/4 a mile from the farmhouse.  Almanzo & Laura lived here for 8 years and then returned to the farmhouse. 
I’m thankful for a patient mother that watched the children outside, and for Erin that enjoys pouring over every detail like I do! ๐Ÿ™‚  We were at the farmhouse, museum and gift store for 5 hours!  We then visited the cemetery and Rock House.  I LOVED taking a trip back in time!  It was a long and lovely day! ๐Ÿ™‚
Have you not read the books about Laura’s and Rose’ life?  You SHOULD!  Their story is much different than the t.v. series, and they are real life happenings!  I enjoy them a lot!  Here’s the first book in the Laura series written by Laura herself:
Here’s the first book in The Rose Years by Macbride:
Would you like to visit this historical place in Missouri?  Click here for the website and directions.
Click here for the facebook page.
Now, what does this trip have to do with Elderberry?  Why did I include this in my title?
Sorry about the poor picture quality – it’s hard to take a good picture as you’re whizzing down the road! ๐Ÿ™‚
On the trip, I saw DOZENS of elderberry plants growing along the road (have I mentioned that I have some in the back woods? I’m very excited about that!)  Elderberry flowers and berries have anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer properties.  It’s a great immune booster and has been used for different sicknesses.  I love this plant and plan on posting in the future as I use it in my family’s lives!

This post is linked to:

The Prairie Homestead

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional. This post is for educational purposes only. The information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links. In order for me to support this website, my research, and blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement and/or links to products or services. However, I only recommend products or services I trust.


  1. says

    I LOVE the Little House Books. I’m so excited that my girls are starting to like them too. I’ve wanted to go see this museum for a long time now. What an exciting day you guys had!!

  2. says

    It WAS exciting!!! My friend said she expected it to be about a 2 hour visit there, but my mom said “Not with Jill around”! Lol! I could have spent all day!

  3. says

    Very jealous! What a great experience. I’ve been reading through the books with my kids and it would be amazing to be there. Glad you had such a great time.

  4. says

    I would absolutely love to visit that museum, and your children looked adorable, I love the bonnets:) I love elderberries, last summer I found a place about 20 minutes from where I live with thousands of elderberry trees, I picked about 50 pounds, but now I can not wait to go and harvest some of the elderberry flowers. What do you do with the flowers?

  5. says

    That is GREAT that you got so many berries last year~ I’m jealous! ๐Ÿ™‚ The whole flower umbel can be dipped into pancake batter and fried. The flower blossoms can be made into a tea to promote perspiration and help get rid of a fever. This is one of my favorite plants, and the flowers smell wonderful! I look forward to harvesting the berries in the fall!

  6. says

    I would LOVE to visit that museum. In fact, I have mentioned it to my hubby….maybe that will have to be our family vacation someday. My girls all share my love of ‘all things Ingalls’ and we’d all enjoy it (maybe not my hubby, but who knows?) I know it’s wrong….but I’m so jealous :o)

  7. says

    I do hope you can go someday, Nicole! I’ve heard the places in South Dakota are amazing to look at too! I believe they have a dugout house, the surveyor’s house and the one on the prairie to see! I would love that too!

  8. says

    Hi Jill!
    I just recently found your blog and “liked” your page on FB. My family also just recently visited the Ingalls Wilder Homestead! (in the beginning part of July of this year) It was a magical day! The museum was just awesome and I kept wishing I could reach through the glass and touch those beautiful pieces of history. I know what you mean about the house tour being too short. They kept trying to get my husband out of the house, too! haha. I could have spent hours more at place! We took tons of outdoor pictures, and then I purchased every postcard they had available in the bookstore that showed the interior rooms of the house! I hope to see the homesteads in Minnesota and South Dakota in the near future! Blessings to you and your family! ~Colleen~

  9. says

    I am a huge LIW fan and visited this museum when I was 12 y.o. Loved it! I was so grateful for parents that knew how passionate I was about reading her books that they arranged a summer vacation around this.:-) To show my age, this was in the mid-seventies.:-) Thank you for sharing!

  10. says

    Oh Jill, you made my night! Here I was looking through your elder posts for more links to share and I came across this. ๐Ÿ™‚ I went to Laura’s house 17 years ago and have been longing to go back ever since! I was just thinking about her kitchen a couple days ago. I would fit in perfectly, I’m only 5’2. My mom read the Little House books to us many times growing up. Later I reread them countless times. I even drew up plans for my dream house in high school based off of their! ๐Ÿ™‚ Blessings!

  11. says

    I’d love to visit there, too! I am closer to Pepin, but have never been there. If you are ever in Iowa, you should visit “Living History Farms”! They have a 1700’s Iowa Indian farm, a 1800’s pioneer farm w/ log cabin & rail fences, and a 1900’s farm house & barn. All farms are planted and harvested each year. There are horses, pigs, cattle and chickens. The farm houses cook dinner for the workers each day. In the 1850 town there is a lot going on, too: blacksmith, broom making (and you can buy a handmade broom!) general store, drug store, print shop, church, schoolhouse…Its pretty awesome! http://www.lhf.org

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