Laura Ingalls Wilder spent her teenage years living in De Smet, South Dakota.
This building is a recreation of Brewster School, the first school where Laura Ingalls Wilder taught after earning her teaching certificate at the age of sixteen. Brewster School was located 12 miles southwest of De Smet.
It was the first time she had slept away from home and living with the Brewster family while teaching at the school was very trying. Mrs. Brewster was apparently clinically depressed. One night Laura awoke to find Mrs. Brewster threatening her husband with a knife.
Laura was miserable but every Friday, no matter what the weather, Almanzo Wilder, arrived to take Laura home to her family for the weekend. Laura was determined to finish out the term as the money she earned helped to send Mary to the college of the blind in Iowa.
A quote from, These Happy Golden Years, describing the day before she started teaching at Brewster School: “Only yesterday she was a schoolgirl, now she was a school teacher. This had happened so suddenly. But tomorrow she would be teaching as Brewster settlement. It was twelve miles from town and Laura did not know what it would be like. She did not know anyone there.”
Copyright 2017 Susan Rissi Tregoning
June 17th, 2017
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