Spring Valley, Minnesota is one of the smaller Laura Ingalls Wilder sites. Spring Valley is where Almanzo’s parents moved once they left Malone, New York. Laura, Almanzo and Rose moved there from De Smet when Diphtheria proved the straw that broke the camel’s back. Royal ultimately returned as well and is buried there. Today you can still see a barn on the former Wilder farm which is believed to date to the time (it’s private property look from the road) and a museum where they have done an amazing job of pulling together everything they could about the James Wilder family even ads from Royal’s store. The museum is located in a former church. It was finished shortly after Laura and Manly’s arrival and they attended with the Wilders.
Spring Valley MN Events
Their town event is called Wilder Fest. This year the dates are May 13-15 and the museum will be open that week-end but officially opens the next week-end (Memorial Weekend) the 28th. If you are planning of coming to Spring Valley during April and May call ahead to set up an appointment.
In June they have their annual Ice Cream Social on Friday, June 20th from 5pm -7pm at the museum, complete with homemade BBQ pork sandwiches, potato salad, beans, and of course, pie and ice cream.
They will also be holding their Eliza Jane School Days this year again in July. It will be July 25-26 & 28-29. They are trying two 2 day sessions to accommodate more students, though they can come for one day and still have a lot of fun. It runs from 9am – 11:30am each day. Just a touch of old fashioned school days and living in the late 1800s.
If you want to try a different Wilder experience head to Southeast Minnesota.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.