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Time Capsule: Mansfield, Missouri

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

My memories of Mansfield, Missouri began when I was a child. I absolutely loved reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, which happened to be written in this small farm town in the 1930s and 1940s.

I've always been a creature of habit when it comes to rewatching movies, ordering the same thing at restaurants, and ... asking my mom to take me to the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum over and over again when I was a kid. And she did. Thanks, mom.

Laura Ingalls Wilder House

It had been 28 years (give or take) since I visited the museum and toured the home where Laura wrote her books. I was in the mood for a little day trip yesterday, so I decided to head that way.

Only an hour from my house, Mansfield is known as "the town where the Little House books were written." And that's pretty much it. But it's 100% worth the trip if you love history.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Kitchen

I toured the museum, but I didn't get there in time to tour Laura's house. Well, technically I got to see the kitchen. When the tour guide was closing up for the day, she let me take a quick peek.

It was a cozy yellow and green kitchen straight out of the 1950s. And my dreams. I felt like I had been taken back in time and I didn't want to come back to the present day. Classic grandma Jacki stuff.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Kitchen

The wallpaper, the appliances, and the little view of the living room that I wanted to see in person SO bad (next time) were just too good.

Wallpapered office

I used the old "put your phone against the window trick" to take this photo of Laura's office. The golden hour light was perfect.

Laura Ingalls Wilder sign

Here's a little history of Rocky Ridge Farm, the home of Laura and Almanzo Wilder.

laura ingalls wilder museum typewriter
Laura's writing desk and typewriter

I highly recommend visiting the museum. I couldn't believe how many items were saved and preserved over time.

RV park signs

OK, so not to completely switch gears here, but here's a hilarious way that someone has tried to profit off Laura's name and legacy ... a good old fashioned RV park with a sign that once said "welcome Laura fans" that now says "welcome L U A fans. lol.

Like most small towns, there are neat buildings with old signage in Mansfield. You know, one of my favorite things in life. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Old tire shop sign

Lion's Den cafe

old business sign

Bank of mansfield

The Friendship house

I can't resist a rock building, and this giraffe stone was so darn pretty. The owner of the Friendship House (an Airbnb) was decorating for Christmas when I drove by.

Old rock church

Here's an old church from the 1940s. I peeked inside, and this is what it looked like:

a view inside old church

I stopped by Ava on the way home to take a photo of "the sign." Ava drug store is now owned by Walgreens. I'm glad they kept the neon sign, but seeing an advertisement for flu shots below it felt pretty darn wrong.

Ava Drug neon sign

Retro tiled floor

The original drugstore soda fountain is no longer in service, but they kept the original red glittery barstools.

Coca Cola ghost sign

I was told that this building would be torn down soon, so I made sure to snap a photo of the old painted Coca-Cola advertisement.

Laura Ingalls Wilder house

Here's another view of Laura's home. It has a certain magic to it, and the view felt so serene and calming.

Fall foilage

Pro tip: Be sure to visit Mansfield in the fall.

xoxo, Jacki

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Dec 06, 2023

This is so fun! I loved the Little House series when I was a kid.

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