Ingalls Wilder

  • The last Little House

    Mansfield, Mo., has never been a particularly prosperous town. Lying in the heart of the Ozarks, its landscape is bucolic but barely fertile. In 1894, however, a stream of people seeking better lives was flowing through this Gem City of the Ozarks, and among them was 27-year-old Laura Ingalls Wilder, who had traveled in a horse-drawn hack from De Smet, S.D., with her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose.

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  • Laura land

    tourist path. These starry-eyed fans are the Deadheads of the preteen set, traveling with their equally avid mothers and sometimes grandmothers, who pass on a love for the "Little House'' books like a cherished heirloom.

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  • Little pageants on the prairie

    It's morning in the Little Town on the Prairie, and we're thumbing through the guest book at the Prairie House Manor B&B. "I can't believe we are in the 'Little Town' where Laura grew up,'' one woman wrote. "This is truly a dream come true,'' wrote another. So many little girls, so many dreams. When Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her nine books about growing up on the American frontier of the 1870s and 1880s, she had no idea her idealized portrait of pioneer life would be such powerful medicine to so many.

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