Kessie continued her council quest by visiting 4 sites in the Girl Scouts Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Council!
This Methodist Church in Spring Valley, Minnesota is one of the only churches still standing that Laura Ingalls Wilder attended. She worshipped here with her husband Almanzo in 1890 and 1891. This church is still open to the public but, unfortunately, we arrived at the church after it closed. The outside was just beautiful though with its Victorian-Gothic Architecture and its 21 stained glass windows.
Does anyone recognize this famous giant? Blue Earth, Minnesota is home to the 551/2 foot tall and 8,000 pound statue of the Jolly Green Giant - the mascot for the vegetable company. Kessie Kangaroo is tiny compared to him!
Our next stop in Minnesota was Walnut Grove. This is where the famous "Little House on the Prairie" tv show from the 1970's was set. This is also the location for Laura Ingalls Wilder's book On the Banks of Plum Creek. The Ingalls home near Plum Creek was within walking distance of Walnut Grove, where Laura went to school and attended church.
In Walnut Grove, we toured the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
Kessie was excited to be there!
The museum featured artifacts that belonged to Laura such as this pretty china set and the quilt. Kessie imagined Laura and Almanzo sitting down to a fancy meal with these plates.
We learned a lot about the Ingalls' time in Walnut Grove and enjoyed going through the museum. We also liked reading about several of Laura's friends from Walnut Grove that she included in her book.
Since the "Little House on the Prairie" tv show takes place in Walnut Grove, the museum there displayed many memerobilia from the show like lunch boxes or "TV Guides" that pictured the famous actors. The museum also had the mantle from the show. Up close, we could see that Charles and Caroline Ingalls' initials are carved into the mantle, so now we want to watch some of the episodes to see that detail! Kessie loved sitting on the tv show mantle with Ma's china shepherdess!
This was a cute little scene set up in the museum. Kessie felt like a real pioneer!
The church that the Ingalls family attended in Walnut Grove is no longer standing, but Pa's Bell is still ringing in a new church!
Pa helped to pay for this bell. He could have spent the money on a new pair of shoes but he chose to donate it to the church. It is so cool that a church still uses it today!
We were excited to visit the site of the Ingalls dugout - the family's first home in Walnut Grove. Their dugout was on the banks of Plum Creek. We enjoyed seeing the descriptions we had read in the book with our own eyes!
Although the roof has caved in, the size of the dugout is clear. We were able to tell where each wall was and understand what it might look like to have a roof made of grass! Kessie agreed with Laura that someone could be standing on their roof and not even know it was a house!
Kessie really enjoyed being on the banks of Plum Creek just like the Ingalls family!
Their dugout was actually very close to the creek.
It was fun to wade in the creek like Laura and her family would have done. The water was very clear and we felt a magical connection to Laura here.
The scenery was absolutely gorgeous as well.
This site is probably the most unchanged of all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder sites; it was like we had traveled back in time and were pioneers ourselves!
See where we spent most of our time in the Minnesota Wisconsin River Valleys Council (purple marker) with this map:
Would you like to pretend to be Laura Ingalls Wilder or another historical figure? The River Valleys Council is offering an event for Juniors where you can do just that! Sign up to attend the Playing the Past Badge Day at Mill City Museum in Minneapolis on multiple dates through 2013.