So we were only one hour away from:
Come on you have to know where Mankato is and it’s importance…Okay if you don’t, then you are not a Little House on the Prairie Lover. In Little House, whenever they needed something MAJOR that is where Pa trucked off to. It was “the big city”. In Little House on the Prairie, they lived in Walnut Grove which was kind of only vaguely settled so when they needed something biggy big this is where they headed to.
Mankato itself was kind of a small town. There were a lot of paved streets and there was a downtown shopping area so I can see why it was thought of as the big city, but it’s not like NYC, more like Kearny with less crazy people milling around.
So we hopped on the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway and headed toward:
Sleepy Eye is the trading post between Mankato and Walnut Grove. Little House Lovers will recognize Sleepy Eye as where Pa ran off if he needed something like *kinda* bad and *pretty important* but not *deadly serious*.
These towns are like probably a half hour apart or something but travelling in a wagon with horses and going like FIVE miles an hour meant that it took forever for him to get there. Now there are paved highways that our combustion-engine-powered, gasoline-fueled vehicles travel 65+ miles an hour to get between the two. Caroline would say, “Charles, ugh, we’re out of shoes!” And he would be all, “OMG, f. *sigh* Okay I’ll be back in three weeks. Try not to get scalped by any Red Injuns, okay?” Then he’d put on a sachel and his hat and see ya later, good luck if I never see ya again, okay?
So back to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway, that like IS the path that Pa probably took! Like we got to see basically what it is he saw bc there’s still not much there. Just farms, fields and nada mas. And so we saw this:
If I’m going to be on the real tip with you, I have to make two confessions. Although I watched the TV show avidly as a kid, although I read all the books, although me and Erica used to like to beat each other with Farmer Boy, although my mother sobbed for a week when Michael Landon went off to the Little House in the sky…it never once occurred to me that *I* could actually visit these places. Even though the Ingalls were REAL people and these books were based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s REAL life and they were all written BY her…never once in my pea brain did I say, “Hey Coleen, I wonder what it’d like to be there?” So when we suddenly found ourselves there, I was so…amazed…
The other confession is not mine but I’m going to make it anyway because I’m a jerk. Kristyn has always given me crap about my Little House on the Prairie love. Her exact words are, “But that show is so broooown.” And I concur, it totally is. I, too, do not like a brown show. You will not find a Western on our television. Unless the scenery is colorful and varied, we will lose interest. M.A.S.H. is out as well.
And I’ve given her the same speech about the show so many times that she wants to rip her ears off. “But Kristyn, they lived on a frigging PRAIRIE! They had to burn oil for light! They had to make their own clothes! They had to wear shoes with holes in them or no shoes at all!” She’s all, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever, do we have to talk about this again?”
And the reason she was so “OMG whateeeeeeever…” was because she genuinely did not know that these stories are based off a book by a real gal who lived this life. She didn’t know that Half-Pint, really did probably fall down a hill somewhere and that PA really did play a fiddle in the dark. So, moral of the story is, we were both amazed for totally moronic and separate reasons and it was awesome.
So we got to the museum about a half hour before it was going to close. We went inside and it was like either $5 or $10 per person but the gal at the counter was like, “Whatever, it’s gonna close so just like run through it and I won’t charge you.” So that’s exactly what we did.
This chapel was hella, hella small and not a real one. All the buildings were representations of what it would’ve looked like. So this was like a little doghouse version of a chapel.
Kristyn at the lecturn. She’s dignified.
Then we came upon something called “Grandma’s House”. This is not something present in the TV show but I was a house from wayback that they wanted to preserve and show how like I guess more wealthy people lived back then.
Plus it had a lot of just old household items in it.
We thought these wash basins and the sign accompanying it was kind of funny.
Here was some parlor furniture of someone who’d be all Brangelina back then.
Not all the dolls were from back then. I think they were just old dolls from different periods.
Kristyn’s Mom has a phone just like this but it’s not from Prairie times, probably more like Sears-times or something, haha. I love it.
Blurry picture but this is how intense their stove was. Probably worked better than ours do too haha.
This was just a room of stuff they’ve collected from Walnut Grove’s Veterans throughout the town’s history. Cute.
And this was kind of crazy. This was their jail. I went in there for a hot minute but we kind of had to run from one display to the next so no fun-time jailhouse pictures. Another time.
There’s two more posts coming out of this day. This was an awesome day and if you don’t like Little House on the Prairie, tough titties. There is a lot more where this came from, haha…