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When Did Laura, Almanzo, and Rose Move to Mansfield, Missouri?

Laura and Almanzo Wilder experienced great personal and farming losses, as told in Laura Ingalls Wilder's book The First Four Years. Almanzo also hoped to improve his health. Shortly after the events in the book which take place from 1885-1889, they left De Smet (which became the state of South Dakota in 1889).
Almanzo, Laura, and their daughter Rose lived briefly in both Minnesota and Florida. They returned to De Smet, South Dakota in 1892. Both Almanzo and Laura worked odd jobs to earn money.

In 1894, the family loaded a horse-drawn hack (carriage) and moved again. This time they went to Mansfield, Missouri. With a one-hundred-dollar bill as a down payment, they bought 40 acres of land with a small cabin. They named it Rocky Ridge Farm. Rose was 7 years old. 

At first they lived by clearing the land and selling the timber. Laura sold eggs from her brown leghorn hens. Almanzo worked as a delivery man. Eventually, Laura designed her dream home, and Almanzo built it. Laura and Almanzo farmed Rocky Ridge together. 
Today Rocky Ridge is home to The Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. It was Laura and Almanzo's home for 63 years. The Wilders spent 17 years building their farmhouse where the Little House series would eventually be written. The home stands today just as Laura left it in February 1957 when she died. 

You can explore this Little House timeline which compares the dates of the Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books with the dates of what happened in her real life. Or you can look for more facts and information about the real Laura Ingalls Wilder in my book, The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion: A Chapter-by-Chapter GuideIt's full of history, activities, and fun for Little House fans of all ages.
Happy Trails! 
Annette Whipple is a nonfiction children's author. Learn more about her books and presentations at

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