Laura Ingalls homestead

August 2001

Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family came to De Smit, South Dakota on a government giveaway. The government gave homesteaders 160 acres in the Dakota Territory to stake a claim. All they had to do was have 10 acres planted. Then build a house and live on the farm for five years and the land was theirs. Pa Ingall built half a house the first year the second half of the house the second year and built a second room addition on the third year. He spent $16.00 in fees to register the land and it was his. I am not convinced that the Ingalls had it any worse than anyone else for that period, its just that Laura wrote a series of books about their family and living on the homestead. Now their homestead is now a tourist attraction. Fact the Burvee family was the first registered residents of Kingsbury County. And their shanty is 50 feet north of the dugout (Ingalls first living quarters).


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The dugout, Ingalls first residence.

The Burvee Shanty, built in 1878 by
Lil and Henry Burvee.

There was a replica of the half house which I didn't get a pic of so I made my own replica. This is the beginning of Ma's Little House.

Nancy and Half Pint a 4 month old pony. If there is a critter around, Nancy will find it and love on it until it bites or kicks or accepts her.

The "little Prairie School" used in the 1880's school session was in January through March only. Laura tough here when she was 15.

A wagon load of twisted hay(no trees around) used in the cook stove during winter. It takes 10 twisted hay bundles to boil a pot of water.

Nancy making rope the old fashion way.

Flindt's garage was move here from town.

Hayroof barn and out house, this one stunk inside.

The pictures below are of the one room in Ma's little house that had three beds, a cook stove, a dinning table, and a bathroom medicine cabinet. When the addition of the second room was built three years later it had a sewing machine and ironing board in it.

Ma's little house.

Another view of Ma's little house.

Handpump well. No hot running water here.

The pictures below are of the Eckmann/Richland School house from Cavour, SD The one room school house has pioneering and homesteading information, a pot belly stove and a covered wagon.

Pioneer exhibit building.

Free Land Offer.

Laura Ingalls Wilder poster.

Pot bellied stove.

History of Eckmann/Richland School house.

David the wagon master?

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