Little House on the Prairie: American Folk Museum Part 3

Click here for part one: The Irish Side
Click here for part two: The Ship
And welcome to part three: The American Side

After disembarking the ship we headed straight for the prairie house.  I had been under the mistaken impression that it was a replica of the Little House.  It wasn’t.  It was an actual prairie house that the settlers from Ireland had settled in all those years ago.  It had been transported from America plank by plank and rebuilt on the Irish site.  It was real not replica!  It wasn’t the Ingalls’ unfortunately, but it did give us a fair idea of what their house would have looked like:


We toured the inside, thinking how cold it would have been compared with the centrally heated houses today.  It was interesting because the roof looks like it is made from tiles but it is actually made from wood just like the rest of the house.

The bedroom with the chinking clearly visable
The bedroom with the chinking clearly visible.  The mattress was hard and lumpy, much like the one we made for our little house!

The chinking between the wood planks would have kept out most of the rain and wind but in the eves we saw that the chinking was missing and the hides were being used to attempt to protect the occupants from the elements:


The house was full of simple home-made furniture with a stove and fire in the middle of the house:


A home-made bench:


Rustic, home-made shelves:


The butter churner:


The salting area for salting their meat:


The smoke house where the meat is smoked:


A barrow where the ash was collected as a form of lye to mix with fats to make a crude soap:


A kitchen garden which was a little (tiny) bit more productive than ours:


We then wandered down the lane to see a demonstration of candle dipping.  This was particularly interesting for me as it is an activity I want to do for our Prairie Christmas:

Love this photo!
Love this photo!
The re-enactor demonstrating how to dip candles
The re-enactor demonstrating how to dip candles
The resulting candles
The resulting candles
T11 noticed lots of lovely herbs drying over the fire place
T11 noticed lots of lovely herbs drying over the fire-place
I took a photo of this lady because I loved her cape.  I wonder.....
I took a photo of this lady because I loved her cape. I wonder…..

We also got to see some beautiful patchwork:


And some still on the frame:


We really enjoyed our time here.  It was wonderful to actually see first hand some of the things we had attempted to replicate.  Poor B2, she went round the whole museum utterly confused crying out ‘little house’ at intervals of about 5 seconds.  When she realised we were going back to the car and she wasn’t going to see ‘little house’ she promptly threw herself on the floor most distressed.  Suddenly we realised that she thought we were visiting our own little house, back home, and was most put out when it didn’t seem to be at the museum!  Ah well, there was nothing we could do about that.  I wasn’t about to fly her home just for a glimpse of our little house.  She’d have to wait until we got home after the holidays.  Needless to say, she was not impressed!

It was a shame about the weather because we may have stayed a little longer if it had been warmer and drier.  We’re such fair weather field trippers!

Donna and her family visited the Wilder family home.  Although she was unable to take photos inside the house she does have some brilliant photos of her family all dressed up in prairie clothes, the outside of the house and the graveyard where the Wilders are buried.  Click here and scroll down to the bottom for the photos.

I’m linking up at some of these great sites


  1. Thank you for sharing this trip! We just finished up “The First Four Years” in our 2 years of reading. Wishing we could visit her homestead, or a place like this!

  2. It was so nice you were able to visit and see first hand the way Laura lived. I love log cabins and quilts. Thank you for the link to my blog. If you ever get to America, you must plan a visit to Silver Dollar City. It is our favorite vacation spot – a step back into the 1800’s. Poor little B2. I am sure she was happy to get home and see her own Little House. Have a wonderful day.

  3. I am so impressed with this museum – from the Irish village, the amazing ship, and then the log cabin they took from America! Imagine leaving your family’s town, an established town, and dealing with the hardships of traveling and starting with so little in a foreign land… It really is incredible. Thank you for sharing your trip with us – it must have been fun for the kids to see real examples of what they have been working on all summer. B2 must be glad to be home!

  4. That reminds me of a museum we liked to visit in Littleton, Colorado. There were two homes of pioneers from different time periods. One was before the railroad, and the other was after. They were vastly different. It looks like you visited a nice museum.

  5. Don’t you just love it when the re-enactors and the artefacts/exhibits at the museums do such a good job at taking us back in time?! Thanks for sharing your visit with us. The photos are about as good as being there! Poor B2! I had to laugh when reading about her episode — it reminded me of a similar incident that Tiger had when he was that age. 🙂

  6. My children and I have really enjoyed all these photos from your visit…what a great way to wrap up your summer learning! Thank you for the virtual tour. Keep us posted on those candles btw, that looks like such a fun project. 🙂

  7. Awesome photo’s!! Thank you! I have found this so interesting. I don’t think I would liked to have lived in that little cabin though… It looks a little cramped and COLD. But how incredible it must have been to live so close to the land….and being so connected with nature. I love it! And your Girly in that Red cape! Beautiful girl!

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