Spring Valley in the Present
Of the Wilder’s farm, the original barn still remains and can be viewed from the street. The Methodist Church, built in 1876 and now on the National Register of Historic Places, was the site of weddings, baptisms, and other special events for the Wilders. This building, now a museum, is open for tours and houses a Laura Ingalls Wilder gift shop and photo gallery, which tells the story of the Wilders in Spring Valley.
Wilder fans can also visit the sites of Royal’s Variety Stores, family graves at the local cemetery, site of the former race track where Almanzo ran the Morgan Horses, and “schoolhouse” hill where Eliza taught at Spring Valley. In the basement of the museum is a small replica of Wilder’s Variety Store, along with a old fashion fire truck, a display on the Sears Family of Sears and Roebuck Company fame.
The Washburn-Zimmerman House across the street from the museum should not be missed, and is furnished in a turn of the century style. The kitchen area is particularly interesting with flatirons, an old stove, a butter churn, and many other kitchen utensils of the time.
A carriage house was recently built behind the house, which at the present has a small replica of a one room school house in the corner – complete with dictionary, some displays of old time Spring Valley, and some paintings of various Spring Valley locations.