My daughter is of the age when Laura Ingalls Wilder books are providing hours of entertainment. She especially feels a connection with Laura because part of my family has lived in the same area as Laura did for several generations. My grandparents often relate stories to my daughter that are similar to the ones she reads in Laura's books.
As a child, I was also swept up in all things Laura. Since my grandparents do not live very far from Laura's birthplace in Pepin, Wisconsin, they took me on a pilgrimage to every little girl's holy site. This year, it was my turn to take my daughter on the same pilgrimage.
Pepin is a quaint small town on the mighty Mississippi. Do not expect a ton of fanfare in the town. However, you will find the scenery quite peaceful and definitely an escape from life in larger towns. In the town itself, there is a little museum dedicated to the Ingalls family. The museum is free. However, the town is working on expanding the museum and donations are very much appreciated. The museum is open seasonally, May 15-October 15 and on weekends through October. My daughter definitely enjoyed the museum!
The Laura Ingalls birth site is actually located 7 miles north of Pepin on County Road CC. The drive through the countryside is pleasant. The cabin is a reconstruction on the land that Charles and Caroline Ingalls once owned. You can visit the cabin any day of the year. There also is a picnic table for a little picnic as well as plenty of space to run around!
We took a little peek into the cabin. There is not a lot to look at but my daughter still enjoyed checking things out.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Days are held at the cabin each year on the second full weekend in September. The cabin will be bustling with pioneer activities this year on September 14 & 15, 2013. During that weekend, kids will be able to experience some of the things the Ingalls children did while growing up in the Big Woods! A visit to the cabin during this festival is the perfect way for any little girl to learn more about Laura!
If you do visit, I suggest adding the home to a visit to Minnesota. Pepin is on the Mississippi so Minnesota is just a stone's throw! We visited the home while on route from Minneapolis back to Chicago. When you visit, it will not be hard to imagine Laura and her siblings getting into hijinks on the prairie!