Our western adventure is coming to a close. This last item on our agenda with any western flavor to it will be a visit to DeSmet, South Dakota. This is the homestead of a Mr. Charles Ingalls and his family.
In case this place and name are causing you to scratch your noggin allow me to add a few descriptive words. Charles Ingalls was Pa Ingalls on the television show called “Little House On The Prairie.” The star showed Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls.
A dugout home was here on site to explore. A dugout was a home-built with sod and grass. Remember trees were scarce in these grassy prairies.
A claim shanty was built at this site in 1878. Soon the Ingalls family built their lives on site. Today there is a reconstruction of their home and barn. An outhouse is on site too. Laurie was impressed how small the home was. Ingalls dug a six feet deep well. A workable hand pump can be used by visitors. I remember using these and the outhouses in my early days through my teens.
We entered the school and sat in old desks several of which were original to the school. This school was not the original to the site. The first one burned down in and around 1887 I believe. We had a chance to be educated by a school teacher of the time.
Charles Ingalls planted many Cottonwood trees. Only five of them currently exist.
We had chances to make things as the early pioneers did. The projects included making rope; grinding wheat into flour and making corn cob dolls.
We arrived home on August the 23rd around 8:00 P.M. from our trip to the west. We had a great time seeing many sites. Many more months would be needed to even touch the surface of everything to see. happy Trails to you all.