Walnut Grove was founded as a village in 1870, named after the trees that grew along the banks of Plum Creek. In 1879 it was incorporated as a town. During the time Walnut Grove was a village, a young family settles down for a few years and the young girl brings her childhood memories of the community alive. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote a series of books called “Little House Series” stories of her childhood in eight volumes that would cover each aspect of the American frontier. “On the Banks of Plum Creek” was published in 1937. This book goes on to tell the story of “the Ingallses move to a farm near Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where they live in a dugout until Pa borrows money to build a frame house for the family.” Laura’s books turned into a beloved TV show in 1974 and aired until 1983.
Today Walnut Grove continues to commemorate Wilders lasting influence. Every year for the past 36 years Walnut Grove has done a pageant. This pageant is an outdoor drama based on the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder performed on the banks of Plum Creek near the home site of the actual Ingalls family. This year will mark its 37th Annual Wilder Pageant and held three weekends in July. This year is extra special as they welcome the Little House TV cast to Walnut Grove. The cast will be visiting and sign autographs on July 25th and 26th. Just up the road from the Wilder Pagaent is the Plum Creek Campground. The Plum Creek Campground is a fantastic place to stay while in the Walnut Grove area. Check out our next blog for more information on the Plum Creek Campground.
* July 11th – 12th
* July 18th – 19th
* July 25th – 26th
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum preserves the history of the famous author.
A feature of Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum is the Kelton Doll Collection, including over 250 dolls from the 1870’s to modern times. This colorful exhibit represents Beulah Kelton’s lifelong passion. A wide selection of books, souvenirs, bonnets, aprons, and locally hand-crafted items
Take a wonderful tour of historic buildings including an 1898 depot, a chapel, an onion-domed house, dugout display, little red schoolhouse, early settler home, and covered wagon display.
Other exhibits include
● Quilt owned by Laura and her daughter Rose
● Bible from the church the Ingalls attended
● Scale models of Ingalls TV series homes
● Historic documents – letters, photos, articles
Walnut Grove is a small community with so much history and inspiring faces. If you have not visited Walnut Grove check out their Facebook, Twitter or website at www.walnutgrove.org. We hope to see you in Walnut Grove, MN!