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Laura Ingalls Wilder

Pioneering Journeys of the Ingalls Family
Walnut Grove, Minnesota

Return to Walnut Grove, Minnesota

drawing of a dugout
A dugout

The dugout on Plum Creek had a front wall built of sod, a door, a greased-paper window, a dirt floor, and a ceiling made of hay. Grass grew on the roof and there were red, purple and pink morning glories all around the door.

morning glories
Morning glories

There was also a sod stable for their oxen, Pete and Bright, and their milk cow, Spot. One evening big Pete ran toward the creek bank and jumped on the roof of the dugout. Laura saw his leg go through the roof. Running toward the ox, she and Jack, the family's bulldog, chased Pete into the stable. Ma filled the hole in the roof with grass.

Today you can visit Plum Creek. You can cross the creek on a footbridge and follow a path to the place where the dugout once stood. Garth Williams, the illustrator of the Little House books, visited Plum Creek and took photographs of the site as he prepared to illustrate On the Banks of Plum Creek . Use this drawing of a dugout and make your own illustration for the story.

For more information, please contact:

Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
330 Eighth Street
Walnut Grove, MN 56180
507-859-2358 or toll free 800-528-7280
www.walnutgrove.org or e-mail: lauramuseum@walnutgrove.org

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum
P.O. Box 488
210 Parkside Drive
West Branch, IA 52358 | 319-643-5301