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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneering Journeys of the Ingalls Family
Pepin, Wisconsin


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The first Little House book, Little House in the Big Woods , takes place near the town of Pepin, Wisconsin. Charles and Caroline Ingalls were early settlers in western Wisconsin where they lived in a log cabin in the woods about seven miles from Pepin. Their daughter, Mary, was born in Wisconsin in 1865 and their daughter, Laura, was born in 1867.

Cabin The Big Woods Cabin
A log cabin
The big woods
A log cabin

Today there is a replica of the Ingallses' log cabin located on its original site. When the Ingalls family lived here, great trees surrounded the cabin. The woods stretched for miles and miles with only a few cabins located on the edges. Look at the photographs of the cabin above. What do you think happened to the big woods?

In their cabin in the big woods Laura and Mary helped Ma wash, iron, cook, mend and bake. Pa hunted, trapped and farmed. He told stories to the girls and played his fiddle. For Laura's fifth birthday, Pa played and sang "Pop Goes the Weasel." His fingers were so quick Laura and Mary could never catch him make the fiddle string pop.

To trade for supplies, Laura, Mary, Baby Carrie, Ma and Pa had to travel seven miles to the town of Pepin located on the shore of Lake Pepin.

In 1869 the Ingalls family left the big woods of Wisconsin to move west to the Kansas Territory. Why do you think the family left their snug cabin and moved west?

Address: Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society, Box 274, Pepin, Wisconsin 54759
Telephone 715-442-3011 Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope when corresponding.

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