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Each of our historical structures includes exhibits and artifacts to help history come alive for new generations.

The Ingalls Family Cabin

The Ingalls' home during their adventure in Kansas was minuscule by modern standards.  Charles, ever possessed by the spirit of the American frontiersman, built the cabin to meet his family's needs until he could bring in his crops and build his wife, Caroline, the house of her dreams.

The Kansas prairie, with it’s open skies, seemingly endless horizon, and tall grasses waving in the wind attracted homesteaders from all over the world.  

When Charles P. Ingalls, his wife, Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls, and their daughters, Mary and Laura camped on the Kansas prairie in 1869 they had no way of knowing that it would change their lives and children’s literature forever.

The cabin that now sits on the Little House on the Prairie Museum site was reconstructed according to Laura Ingalls' own descriptions by Brigadier General William A. Kurtis and his wife, Wilma Horton Kurtis, with the help of volunteers from the local chapter of the Jaycees from Independence in 1977.

 

Charles' Hand-Dug Well

The well that Charles dug by hand (with a little help from his neighbor, Mr. Scott) was instrumental in helping historian Margaret Clements discover the site of the Ingalls family homestead in 1969 on the Horton farm.

 

Wayside Post Office

Constructed in 1885, the historic Wayside post office served Kansas residents until the US Postal Service consolidated their postal sites.  Though the Ingalls' family had moved on by the time of its construction, William and Wilma Kurtis moved it to the Little House On The Prairie Museum site in 1977 to save it from destruction and preserve it for the education of future generations.

 

Sunnyside Schoolhouse

The Sunnyside one room schoolhouse was built in 1871 approximately four and a half miles from the Ingalls' homestead, but Laura Ingalls and her sisters were too young to have attended during their time in Kansas. 

 

In order to preserve the iconic architecture and memory of the one room schoolhouses in the region, William and Wilma Kurtis moved the structure to the Little House On The Prairie Museum site in 1977. 

It was their hope that children of future generations would be able to experience education the way their forbears had.

“Home is the nicest word there is.”
— Laura Ingalls Wilder