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Laura Ingalls Wilder

De Smet, South Dakota Street Map
Surveyors' House

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In December 1879, after the railroad workers left for the winter, the Ingalls family moved into the Surveyors' House on the north shore of Silver Lake, near what is now the town of De Smet, South Dakota. The surveyors had left behind coal for the stove and plenty of food, including flour, beans, salt meat, potatoes, jars of pickles and canned peaches. During the winter Pa played his fiddle and everyone sang. He played jigs and reels, polkas and waltzes. Laura and Carrie danced around the room. Pa said they were "snug as bugs in a rug." Early in the spring, settlers started arriving at the house on their way to find new land, and the Ingalls family offered them room and board.

The Surveyor's House in De Smet

Laura was twelve when she moved to Dakota Territory in 1879. She and her family stayed in this house during one winter and spring. Why did Laura think this house was so big?

The pantry in the Surveyor's House

This is the pantry in the Surveyors' House. What items were kept in a pantry? What items can you identify?

The Surveyor's House in De Smet
--Photo courtesy of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, 105 Olivet Ave., Box 426, De Smet, SD 57231 http://www.discoverlaura.org

 

The Pantry in the Surveyors' House
--Photo courtesy of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, 105 Olivet Ave., Box 426, De Smet, SD 57231 http://www.discoverlaura.org

 

 

Interior of the Surveyor's House

The Surveyors' House is now a museum and is the oldest house in De Smet. It has been restored to look as it did when the Ingalls family lived there. This room served as a kitchen and dining room combined. How is this different from your home?

Interior of the Surveyors' House
--Photo courtesy of Leslie A. Kelly and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, 105 Olivet Ave., Box 426, De Smet, SD 57231 http://www.discoverlaura.org

 

 

 


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