Laura Ingalls Wilder
De Smet Street Map Church Ingalls Claim Wilder Claim Clancy's Dry Goods Livery Surveyors' House Depot One Room School
Laura Ingalls Wilder was in her 70s when she wrote the last of the Little House books. To help herself remember De Smet as it was in the 1880s, Laura drew a map of the town. Most of the businesses were located along Calumet Avenue , named Main Street on Laura's map. In The Long Winter , Laura wrote that there were fourteen business buildings in town and eighteen families. There were Fuller's Hardware Store, where the men gathered to learn the news, the depot, where the trains stopped and where Laura's classmate, Ben Woodworth, lived, and the Wilder Feed Store where Almanzo and Royal Wilder spent the winter. The Ingalls family moved from their claim a mile southeast of town into Pa's store in town during the hard winter. When Laura, Carrie and their classmates were lost in a blizzard as they were coming home from school, Laura stumbled against Mead's Hotel on the edge of town. In Little Town on the Prairie , Laura worked at Clancy's store to earn money to send her sister, Mary, to the Iowa School for the Blind. When Laura and Almanzo Wilder were married, they moved to Almanzo's tree claim north of town.
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