- Historic Sites
Toward The Little House
A LIFELONG FASCINATION with the stories of a famous pioneering family finally drove the writer to South Dakota in hopes of better understanding the prairie life Laura Ingalls Wilder lived there and later gave to the world.
April 1997 | Volume 48, Issue 2
I think of Laura’s mother, Caroline. She was the type of woman who could express dismay about living in a dugout in the morning but be laughing about it by evening, the type of woman who when a daughter became blind could encourage her to go to college. As an older woman, a widow for more than two decades, she took in boarders and did everything to make ends meet. Yet Caroline Ingalls always had time to talk to the young women of De Smet who came to her door to seek her advice on how to manage life.
I believe that the Ingallses had a certain spirit and that Laura captured a spark of that spirit in her work. Someone once said that the Little House books can be about anything you want them to be about. For me, they are about how people who experienced hardship and fear can still behave civilly toward one another and gaze with kindness on the outside world.