Welcome to our Blog: Discover Laura!


Today is an exciting day at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society. We’re launching a blog! We decided to begin blogging, because there is just so much to say about Laura & the Historic Homes.

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Over the next few months, we will use the blog to:

  • Share historical information about Laura
  • Introduce our staff
  • Explain projects going on at the Historic Homes
  • Describe Laura’s life in De Smet.

Of course, blogging about these topics fits in perfectly with the mission statement of the Memorial Society:

“The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Ingalls-Wilder heritages in De Smet, South Dakota and to educate and enhance the experience of learning to all interested people.”

Travel to De Smet

Our blog will also feature information about planning family vacations to De Smet, South Dakota. Here in De Smet, you and your family can visit Laura’s Historic Homes and take a tour. There is so much to see in South Dakota. It is a great place for a family vacation and a classic American-style roadtrip.

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Once you arrive in De Smet, you can visit Laura’s Historic Homes and take a tour. Visit our website for more information about admission to the tour. On the tour, you’ll visit the Surveyors’ House from By the Shores of Silver Lake. Then, you can see the First School of De Smet. Laura and Carrie attended this school as young girls. You can also visit the home that Pa build in 1887. Each building on the tour is filled with historic artifacts!

Follow the Discover Laura Blog

Please consider subscribing to our blog by entering your email near the top right side of this page. Each time we post, you’ll receive an email update. Don’t worry about your inbox being flooded, we’ll just be writing about two times a month.

Finally, if there is any thing you have always wanted to know about Laura or De Smet — please feel free to request more information. We’ll see what we can find out!


11 comments on “Welcome to our Blog: Discover Laura!

  1. Lu Ann Britt says:

    I am so excited to see this blog! I have been to DeSmet three times to tour all the sites and I want to go back again. I even took my oldest granddaughter, and she loved it too!

  2. I am so excited to receive your blogs and information. I am a huge
    Laura fan. I have been to her homes in Missouri and in Indep KS. Loved both sites. Thank you

  3. Dean Butler says:

    This new Discover Laura blog is a great idea. I hope Laura fans everywhere will participate and enjoy.

  4. pmaghamfar says:

    Looking forward to reading!

  5. Even though Laura never mentioned the Masters family in her books, I will always feel a true connection to Laura Ingalls from Burr Oak. IA, to Walnut Grove, MN and on to DeSmet, South Dakota where my grandfather was the first white child born in DeSmet and helped make Dakota Territory and the railroad to the west

  6. Heidi Brauer says:

    Excited to have a new resource.Planning a trip for September to visit ALL home sites with the exception of Malone NY, did that last year.

  7. Kathy Ross says:

    I really enjoy Lauras books even as an adult iget them our and re-read them

    • Heidi Brauer says:

      I didn’t discover Laura until I was an adult. First the show, then the people, books, and finally the home sites. Never did I ever think that I would actually be able to visit these places. Arriving in DeSmet, stepping out of my vehicle directly across the street from where Pa’s store once stood was a surreal moment for me. The entire time spent touring the sites in and around DeSmet I was in awe. Went to Malone NY in 2012, going to Missouri this year, stopping at all home sites starting with DeSmet, can’t wait!

  8. Kris Conway says:

    I wondered if you have more info about George and Maggie Masters staying with the Ingalls during the Long Winter episode? Laura left them out of the books but they were reported to be there during the winter with their small baby.

    • Sierra says:

      Hi Kris – Thank you for your question. What information we have comes from “Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Woman Behind the Legend” by John Miller.
      George and Maggie Masters and their little baby lived with the Ingalls family for the winter. It was supposed to be a short stay however turned into a much longer one when wintry weather closed in on De Smet and the young couple had no place to go. George was the oldest son of the Walnut Grove schoolteacher Sam Masters. He came to Dakota Territory to work for the railroad. Maggie was good good-natured while George was sullen and selfish. Laura left this out of The Long Winter for fear it would ruin her story.

  9. Brian Smith says:

    Curious to know about the Ingalls family members graves in DeSmet Cemetery. On my visits there I was intrigued that Pa Ingalls’s grave is marked by his original tombstone – but Ma, Carrie, Mary, and the Wilder’s infant son all have matching tombstones placed at later date apparently. Did these members of the family never have original tombstones? And if not I wondered why? I would appreciate some information on this. It seems that Laura would have provided tombstones for them, especially after the publication and fame of her books. If there were no previous markers, how were the graves identified so much later. I am a huge Laura and DeSmet fan but just curious about this. Please help!

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