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“Charming tribute to a special American writer”

Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Mansfield
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
86 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Charming tribute to a special American writer”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Like many girls, I grew up with Laura, reading her excellent books until the covers fell off. It was a special experience to see her beloved Rocky Ridge Farm, where she lived most of her adult years after moving so often as a child. The museum attached to the house had numerous family photos and items. The house itself did not disappoint. It was exactly the kind of farm home I expected to find, warm and cozy. Although this visit was for my benefit, I noticed that my husband and son found the house and museum almost as interesting as I did.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank Photobug4727
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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299 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
99 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
“If you're a fan, this is a must”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

My 8-year-old and I are huge fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books and decided to make the trip to see the home where they were written. I left my younger two at home with my husband and I'm glad I did - if you haven't read the books or aren't that interested in them, this would be a boring waste of a few hours. However, if you know the books, you'll see a lot of photos, letters and other articles that Mrs. Wilder wrote about in her series. Pa's fiddle, unpublished photographs, the bread plate that survived the fire, the name cards...it's all there in the museum and it's so cool!

A few things you should know:

*Mansfield is truly in the middle of nowhere. The Wilder home/museum do take credit cards, but most other businesses in town do NOT. Bring cash.

*The staff at the museum and home are very friendly, but they run this place differently than other historical sites or museums. There is no set schedule for tours of either of the homes or the movie that's shown. When a big enough crowd shows up, they start the movie and a tour. If there are *too* many people, they'll give you a (very informative) brochure and let you wander the homes yourself. - And the homes are very well preserved/beautiful to look at (Laura's rocking chair! Her writing desk! Even her glasses!); however, the museum, while well-organized, is a bit shabby. They are in need of funds to re-vamp the place.

*NO PHOTOGRAPHY of ANY KIND is allowed inside either of the homes, the museum or the gift shop. They do offer very nice postcards of everything from the interior of the homes to well-known Laura artifacts for .25 apiece in the gift shop - but don't go thinking you'll get a shot of yourself standing next to Pa's fiddle or one of Laura's dresses.

*No food is available here and there's not much around the area. Eat before you come or pack a snack. There are picnic tables across the street in the parking area where you can sit and eat. There are some restaurants in Mansfield (I have reviews!), but it's slim pickings.

*Plan on about an hour in the museum and another hour or two for the house tours.

*The walkway between Laura's house and the rock house was unusable when we where there on July 3. Visitors had to drive to see the rock house (very short distance).

*The sweet lady who runs the museum (I think her last name is Cody - wish I could remember) has MET Laura Ingalls Wilder! Be sure to ask her about Laura! She is usually the one sitting at the front desk taking admission fees and handing out brochures. :-)

*The staff members are very protective of the homes/museum and can come off as brusque; however, if you ask them questions or show an interest in the items/Laura's life, they light up and will talk your ear off. Approach them and ask questions - they love it. :)

Visited July 2013
3 Thank infamousmare
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Laura Ingalls Wilder house and museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2013

If you're a Little House fan, this is the place for you. This is the house that Laura and Almonzo built and lived and died in. The museum has the most treasures from the Ingalls and Wilder families, including Pa's fiddle!! This was well worth the trip!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank kerirohde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
357 reviews
207 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
“A must see for Little House fans”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank BushkaTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
High Point, North Carolina
Level Contributor
77 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Everything we expected”
5 of 5 bubbles 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.

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

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