De Smet, South Dakota welcomes the readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Wilder moved to De Smet, âthe Little Town on the Prairie,â when she was twelve-years old and later placed six of her Little House books in the town and surrounding area, including By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, and Little Town on the Prairie.
Today, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society invites visitors to explore the Discover Laura Center and tour âtwo original Ingalls family homes filled with items that belonged to Laura and her family,â The Surveyorsâ House and The Ingalls House. Other sites mentioned in her books can also be seen, including the Loftis Store, a replica of Brewster School where Laura taught, the site of Silver Lake, and the De Smet Cemetery where her parents and others mentioned in her books are buried. Not far from town is the Ingalls Memorial, featuring an Ingalls Monument and cottonwood trees planted by âPa Ingalls.â Each summer, Little House readers young and old can attend the The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant, an outdoor drama about the familyâs years in De Smet.
Visit the De Smet website for directions, hours, other visitor information, and facts about Laura Ingalls Wilder, including a map of âLauraâs Travels.â
Now it was springtime. The Dakota prairie lay so warm and bright under the shining sun that it did not seem possible that it had ever been swept by the winds and snows of that hard winter. How wonderful it was, to be on the claim again! Laura wanted nothing more than just being outdoors. She felt she never could get enough sunshine soaked into her bones. -- from Little Town on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder