South Dakota Prairie

As I continue my series on my love for South Dakota, here are some photographs taken in July 2006 at the Ingalls Homestead just outside of De Smet, SD.  Laura Ingalls has been one of my favorite writers since 6th grade, and I always thought that she lived the most interesting life span (1867-1957).  She was born during the era of horse and buggy, she lived in a dugout and log cabin, and by the time she died at the age of 90, it was modern America! I had long wanted to visit some of her houses.  The original building no longer stands, though a version has been reconstructed.  It’s just a beautiful place.
Prairie Grass at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead

Prairie Grass at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead

Who does not love open space, endless blue skies, and prairie grass? The night before I took this picture, Vinny and I lay awake while a new kind of storm raged in the skies: a Midwestern storm with extremely high winds and all sorts of lightning.  We had to hold the tent up from the inside so it wouldn’t blow away.  It is one of the few times in life that I thought I might die. Of course, the fact that the campsites were out in the open on a South Dakota prairie probably had something to do with the wind factor.  However, we survived without sight of a tornado; by morning it was one of the most beautiful places in the world and perfect setting for a morning walk.

And, now, for your entertainment: another site on the homestead:

On the homestead in South Dakota

Poor building, what happened?

Beats me. For the record, I didn’t do it. And below is another picture to show our sites along the way. 

Beautiful views and beautiful horses

Beautiful views and beautiful horses

I’d recommend South Dakota to anyone.  De Smet is in eastern South Dakota, which is the typical prairie one would imagine.  The Black Hills are in the western portion of the state and are completely different, but beautiful as well. And of course, all of South Dakota should be appreciated for its beauty. Hopefully, this land can be preserved as open space.  You just can’t imagine such an open place until you see it.


9 thoughts on “South Dakota Prairie

  1. Barb says:

    I enjoyed your photos. My husband and I plan to visit South Dakota for the first time this month and I would like to visit De Smet to see where the Ingallses lived. We visited Laura’s home in Mansfield Missouri and it was very moving to actually see where she wrote the stories. Almanzo’s clock, a gift to Laura, still sits ( and works!) in the little parlor. I was near tears the whole visit, because Laura’s life is so much a part of my growing up. I have read everything I could get my hands on, starting when I was about six. I read her Little House series several times. So thank you for your photos and blog! I can’t wait to go myself.

  2. Angela says:

    I agree with you so much about how interesting her life span was. Anyone who lives to be 90 is going to witness a lot of history, and a lot of change, but since Laura was part of the last generation to grow up on the prairie, she witnessed a level of change that I don’t think happened in any other time period in U.S. history. She was born in a time with no electricity, and by the time she died, not only was there electricity, there was television! That’s incredible. And to go from traveling in a covered wagon to cars and then airplanes (I watched a LIW documentary that said she actually traveled on an airplane once to go visit her daughter Rose.) It’s amazing to think of the things she witnessed in her lifetime.

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