“Laura had never seen a place she liked so much as this place.” Little House on the Prairie ©Author Adventures

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Independence, Kansas, was home to a very young Laura Ingalls and her family during the year 1869. This is the setting for the second book in her series, Little House on the Prairie. 

Although the original one-room log cabin, in which the Ingalls family lived, did not survive, the foundation of the cabin appeared to have survived. In the 1970s, local Kansans were able to begin to recreate the cabin on this site and discover other traces of the Ingalls’ time there, such as Pa’s well and the stone fence he built. The Little House on the Prairie Museum was the eventual fruit of their efforts.

A Visit to the Little House on the Prairie Museum

We visited the museum during the summer of 2016 and loved it. The one-room cabin replicates the original structure which Pa and Ma Ingalls built and there are several additional historical buildings full of information about nineteenth century life on the plains. It was particularly interesting to learn more about Dr. Tann, the African-American doctor who cared for the Ingalls family when they had malaria, as described in the book.

A view from behind the museum. ©Author Adventures

The day of our visit, the surrounding fields, prairie grasses, and very big skies, were absolutely beautiful. We loved the chance to just linger in the picnic area, gaze at the farm animals, and feel the sun and wind on our faces; a very Little House on the Prairie feeling, indeed.

Other Local Attractions

Make sure to check out the gift shop. Many of the items are made locally, and thus, very unique.

Also of interest are the nearby Verdegris River and Walnut Creek, which are mentioned in the books.

We also drove into Independence, Kansas, and visited the cemetery where you can see the gravestone of Dr. Tann.

There are additional Laura Ingalls Wilder sites in IowaMinnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For a cross-country tour of Laura Ingalls Wilder homesteads, click here: Wagon Tour.

This field still contains buffalo wallows from the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder. ©Author Adventures

This is the final stop on our Kansas Author Adventures Trail.

Rebecca Blake Beech