For the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society of De Smet, SD, bringing to life the Little House books of famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder is a labor of love. As the setting for five of Wilder's books about prairie life, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years and The First Four Years, the Memorial Society is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society
"Bringing the Laura Ingalls Wilder legacy to life today
while preserving it for the future."
800.880.3383 | 605.854.3383 |P.O. Box 426, 105 Olivet Avenue, De Smet, South Dakota, USA|
© Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization..
When Aubrey Sherwood, Alice Kirchmeier and Vera McCaskell formed the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society in 1957, they wanted a way to honor their dear friend Laura Ingalls Wilder. They wanted to highlight the sites in De Smet that Laura mentions in her books. They had no real budget or specific plan, but they loved Laura's books and De Smet.
The Memorial Society slowly began recognizing the buildings in town referenced in the Little House books, and they also began collecting Ingalls' family belongings. By 1972, as funding, involvement and community support grew, the organization had acquired the Surveryors' House and the "House that Pa built" as well as hundreds of original Ingalls artifacts.
The Memorial Society has added another irreplaceable building to the historical collection, when the first school Laura and her sister Carried attended was purchased and restored to it's original condition as a school.
The organization currently maintains more than 2,000 original artifacts of Laura and her family. A must see for all Laura fans.
Visitors travel from across the globe to the wind-swept prairies to walk the path of Laura Ingalls Wilder and tour the historic homes. During the summer as far away as New York, Japan and Australia will sign in to the guest book.
What began over a cup of coffee as three friends desire to honor a local author has grown into an international recognized organization preserving Wilder's literacy contribution and teaching new generations about the struggles and joys of pioneering life.