Walnut Grove, Minnesota in the Present
Walnut Grove, Minnesota, is a must-visit destination for fans of the Little House series. The town’s rich history, combined with its present-day attractions, provides a unique opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
One of the main attractions in Walnut Grove is the site of the Ingalls family’s original dugout home. Although the dugout itself is no longer standing, visitors can still see the depression in the ground where it once stood. The Gordon family, who currently owns the property, graciously allows tourists to visit the site. A bridge now crosses Plum Creek, providing easy access to the dugout location. By examining the landscape, visitors can also observe how the course of Plum Creek has changed over the years.
Another point of interest in Walnut Grove is the church bell, which Pa Ingalls helped fund by donating his boot money. The bell is still in use today, ringing out from a local Lutheran church. As you stroll through the town, you’ll notice markers identifying buildings that were present during Laura’s time or have historical significance.
The Walnut Grove museum is a treasure trove for Little House fans. The museum’s bookstore offers a wide selection of souvenirs and books, while the exhibits showcase various artifacts, including a handmade quilt crafted by Laura herself. Another highlight is Grandma’s House, which features the impressive Kelton Doll Collection.
In addition to its connection to the Little House books, Walnut Grove also served as the inspiration for the popular television series “Little House on the Prairie.” The museum pays homage to the show with autographed photos of cast members such as Alison Arngrim, Katherine MacGregor, Melissa Sue Anderson, and Karen Grassle. Visitors can also view memorabilia from the show, including a wooden replica of the Ingalls’ house featured in the series. In 1997, members of Michael Landon’s family even paid a visit to the town. And cast members are regular special guests to Walnut Grove, particularly during the pageant.
Walnut Grove’s annual events, such as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, bring the town’s history to life through live performances, engaging activities, and presentations. These events draw Little House enthusiasts from all over the world, offering a unique opportunity to connect with other fans and share in the appreciation of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s legacy.
In summary, Walnut Grove, Minnesota, provides a wealth of experiences for Little House fans to explore. From the remnants of the Ingalls’ dugout home to the various historical sites, museum exhibits, and annual events, visitors can truly immerse themselves in the world that Laura Ingalls Wilder so vividly brought to life in her beloved books.