No western visit to Ingalls land would be complete without a visit to De Smet, SD, named for Fr. De Smet, S.J., who established missions in the American West. The town of De Smet was made famous through Laura's books as the Little Town on the Prairie. De Smet, the Ingalls Homestead, The Surveyors House, and more, make this a "don't miss" stop on the Ingalls tour.
The Ingalls Homestead is such a well-done interactive attraction that I cannot help posting quite a few photos. I hope they load easily!
In P's view, few things are more fun than laundry done prairie-style. The washboard, the wringer and the line all got a workout. Twice.
Done with a long wash day, he took a break to rope a calf. After a drink at the pump (more trouble than it was worth??) the kids all headed over to the barn to drive the covered wagon to school. This is a very hands---on living museum sort of place, and they got to do everything, including drive the wagon!
At the school house, they were greeted by Mrs. Nelson, a very nice teacher. All the students put on aprons and bonnets, or straw hats. Each took a seat and the teacher talked about pioneer schooling. As she described a typical school day, she gave each student a "job". She assigned T to fill the water bucket for the class, but when she looked in the bucket, it was empty. She called T up to the front of the class, and drew an X on the blackboard.
"Do you know what this X is for?" she asked. "Yes. My nose," answered T. He put his nose up to the X and stood there until he was dismissed for the spelling bee. All the kids got their words right, including a Japanese exchange student, who was just learning English. I bet she was not expecting a one-room school house!
A dismissed the class by ringing the school bell, and the kids drove the wagon back up to the barn, where everyone had a lesson rope-making, each coming away with a length of colorful rope.
We did not stay on the property, but had we known...we could have "camped" out in a real covered wagon! Maybe next time.
Of course, there are more photos. Check them out here.