Five of the nine Little House books were based on the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life while living in De Smet, South Dakota. She and her family moved to the De Smet area in 1879 at the beginning of the book By the Shores of Silver Lake.
The first school of De Smet was attended by Laura Ingalls Wilder and her sister Carrie from 1880 through 1881. The building was brand new when they started attending school there. The citizens of the city provided all the materials and built it themselves but the school was too small and the town quickly outgrew it after the first year. By 1885, it had been sold and remodeled into a house. Many families lived in it over the years. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Society purchased the home in 1999 and restored it to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. The original chalkboards were found under many layers of wallpaper.
In the book, The Long Winter, Laura describes the first time she saw the schoolhouse with her sister, Carrie, while on their way to school. She described it as a building standing all by itself. It had windows on each side, a stovepipe that wasn’t in use at the time and a boarded in entry. All the desks were patent desks made from wood varnished as smooth as glass and had black iron feet. A large heating stove stood in the middle of the room.
Copyright 2017 Susan Rissi Tregoning
June 14th, 2017
Viewed 853 Times - Last Visitor from Wilmington, DE on 12/02/2023 at 1:31 PM