Freedom's Frontier Heritage Traveler

Settling the (Little House on the) Prairie


Little House on the Prairie Museum

It All Began With A One Room Cabin on the Kansas Prairie...

It was just a simple one room cabin on the prairie. But the prairie with it’s open skies, seemingly endless horizon and tall grasses waving in the Kansas wind attracted homesteaders from all over the world.  In 1869, a young family from the woods of Wisconsin arrived to settle.  When Charles P. Ingalls, his wife Caroline Lake Quiner Ingalls and their daughters Mary, Laura and Carrie camped on the Kansas prairie, little did they know it would change their lives and children’s literature forever.

cabin and wagon

Replica cabin on the grounds near where the original cabin stood.

An official Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite, Little House on the Prairie Museum is the Kansas location where Charles and Caroline Ingalls brought their pioneer family in 1869. Constructing a log cabin in the late fall of 1869, the family would live on the site until the spring of 1871, when they returned to their Wisconsin homestead near Pepin.


Weather was a constant hazard for 19th century travelers. This engraving from Harper’s Weekly shows a family in a covered wagon on the Kansas prairie battling a wind storm.

While in Kansas, the family worked hard to survive and faced the adversities of pioneer life. The Ingalls, along with their neighbors the Scott and Tann families, lived in the heart of the Osage Dimished Reserve lands and were in essence illegally settled there and both the pioneer and America Indian communities struggled to maintain their freedom as tides of migrants headed westward after the Civil War. The family’s third child, Caroline Celestia Ingalls (Baby Carrie) was born at the site in August 1870.

74127_171943239484543_4918508_nToday, the privately owned and funded museum features a replica of the one room cabin the family lived in along with a historic 19th century one room schoolhouse and post office moved from the nearby community of Wayside, Kansas.DSC08482-L

The structures were moved there by the museum’s founders, Wilma and William Kurtis, in 1976 to preserve them for future generations. Recently added permanent exhibits feature frontier medicine, a small general store and pioneer travel and home life. The museum is open seasonally from April-October.


Little House on the Prairie Museum is a privately owned non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historic site and history of the Ingalls family and their time in Kansas from 1869-1871.  

In addition to the reproduction log cabin, schoolhouse, post office and farmhouse, the hand dug well that Charles Ingalls dug for his family on the historic property still remains. 73436_171943259484541_5076916_n

192702_209199772425556_4835006_oNote: The one room Sunnyside schoolhouse built in 1871 and historic Wayside, Kansas post office built in 1885 were moved to the site in 1976 to save them from destruction.  The Ingalls children did not attend school in this schoolhouse (they were too young while here) and did not collect their mail in the particular post office on site. post office

Plan your visit 242383_225762877435912_192958_o

Hours: Beginning April 3, 2015

Closed: Monday-Wednesday

Open: Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm

Hours May 1- October 31, 2015

Closed: Monday

Open: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm


$3 adults and $1 children under 18

We accept cash only for admission fees.

2507 CR 3000 :: Independence, KS 67301 :: 620-289-4238 ::

Please do not use your GPS to locate us, the directions will be incorrect.

View the plan your visit page here.

Tours and School Groups

To find out more about bringing your group to Little House on the Prairie Museum click here.

74337_171940659484801_2144256_n facebook-logo


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