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“A must see for Little House fans”

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Mansfield
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 25, 2013

I have always wanted to see Laura and Almanzo's house in Missouri. On a recent trip to Branson, we drove over to Mansfield which was about a 90 min. drive. The farm house Laura and her husband built is available for tours. Connected to it is a museum building with many of the original artifacts mentioned in her books including Pa's fiddle, etc. It was a WOW moment for me. I would give yourself about an hour to go through the museum to see the items and read the articles and info. They took a group at a time to tour the house and no photos are allowed inside but the postcards do show the rooms. The clock Almanzo gave Laura is in there, her writing desk and so much more. That tour and a video in another building took about 30 minutes. You can walk the grounds and take photos. Then there's a gift shop to browse. You then drive about 5 min. away to see the rock house which they lived in for 8 years. This was a gift to them from their daughter Rose and it's also fascinating to see. This tour was about 20 min. and then we drove 5 min. back to town to the cemetery to see their graves. There's not many places to eat in town and since we were heading back to Arkansas we ate in Ava which has the typical fast food places for a quick lunch.

2  Thank BushkaTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 24, 2013

It was a lovey day. We watched a video, toured the home, toured the grounds, visited the rock house, then back to the main house for the gift shop. This is the house where she and Almanzo settled in MO where she wrote the books. The tour of the Rocky Ridge Farm was wonderfully led by a knowledgeable lady. The site is clean and well-preserved. No photos inside the home, but the gift shop has great postcards for $0.25. We toured the grounds alone and the museum. It has Pa's fiddle, letters within the family, clothes, dishes, photos, lots of things you would not see otherwise. We walked to Rocky Ridge, but most people must drive. It is not a difficult walk at all. The gift shop is very reasonable. This is a good 4 hour visit.

3  Thank ditzymudgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

I was frustrated because it was difficult to find out when this attraction was open on Sunday; I found no times listed on a web page an when I called the phone number, it rang a million times unanswered. While the museum is from the pioneer days, I assume it has a modern telephone that I wish had been equipped with an informational voice message. FYI: on Sunday, they open at 12:30.
We arrived at noon and waited with many other folks for them to open. I wish they had split us into two groups and set half of us to the rock house while the other half went to the farmhouse to allow for a more leisurely tour; there were two very knowledgeable tour guides in the house, but they were pretty much just directing traffic and stopping children from touching things and blocking them from going upstairs rather than giving us interesting facts and pointing out details. They explained that because it was so crowded, they were just handing out brochures that explained the rooms in lieu of them talking. We hung back and waited for the masses to clear and then had a chance to hear one of the guides talk extensively about the library and the fireplace and the music room. She explained how Rose had built the rock house forLaura and Almanzo to live out their final days. Had we not had this time with the guide, I think I would have been very frustrated to have driven 7 hours to see this home in what kind of turned out to be a rushed, negative experience.
No photographs, flash, video or otherwise, can be taken inside the buildings. I did get some outside shots though to capture some memories.
The museum itself is nice. My favorite exhibit was Pa's fiddle, which the guide said is played on special occasions, such as festival days.
There is a brief film before the tour that was interesting and it featured music throughout played on Pa's fiddle and had several sound clips of Laura talking. It was neat, but they tried to squeeze too many people into thelittle room to see it rather than offering to split the group. We even asked to go with the next showing and they said that we had to go then because they weren't going to promise another showing, even though there were more people gathering as we left.
I'm struggling to find the right words to express my frustration; the staff was not really rude, but they weren't particularly friendly or welcoming either. Their mood just did not seem to fit the spirit they described that Rose had when she wanted to see her mother's homes and legacy preserved; I guess it was more commercial than I had anticipated.
The bookstore was nice. It's prices were higher than some of the other Little House site stores, so if you are going to make a sojourn to all of them, you might want to spend your dollars at a different one. If this is your only Little House stop in a lifetime, then you can still pick up a souvenir without breaking the bank.
All that said, I loved visiting the farmhouse and the museum and the bookstore. Perhaps I just caught them on an off day and perhaps the extreme heat was getting to me too. I just know that when I have left other Little House sites I have practically skipped to the car afterwards and with this one I felt like I had just crossed it off my list.

8  Thank LisOnTheGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We were pleasantly surprised to see just how many items from Laura's life and family that the house and museum have preserved. We loved looking at all the photographs and tintypes of Laura's family. With the price of the ticket, you can see the Rocky Ridge House and Museum and the Rock House (which is just a mile or so down the street). There is a parking lot across the street and you will have to walk up a gently sloped gravel driveway to get to the house. The grounds of both houses are beautiful and well maintained. We were surprised to learn that the house and museum do not get funding from the book royalties. We combined a visit to Laura's house with a visit to the Bakersville Pioneer Village (and rare seed store) for a full day in Mansfield, MO.

5  Thank joffretraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 28, 2013

They have preserved the house she lived in while writing the House on the Prairie series. Tours are lead by museum staff after a short DVD about the site. The Rock House is included in the price but you need to drive a couple of miles down the road to meet the tour guide. You can go through the museum before and/or after the house tours. There is plenty of parking at both sites, including room for RV's.

Thank Dennis G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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