Hear the whistles of daily freight trains as they pass your second-story room in this old farmhouse. Walnut Grove with a population of about 800, is one the many Midwest towns once called home by the family of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, "Ma and Pa" to Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of "The Little House on the Prairie" series of books.
Visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in town, the Ingalls Dugout Site on the banks of Plum Creek, and the Sod House in nearby Sanborn to enrich your stay.
The house is a blend of old farmhouse and newer remodeled home. The tea room, parlor, and upstairs bedrooms and bath are reserved for guests. The rest of the home is the private host area.
There are three bedrooms in the house.
>>This listing is for “The Little Room on the Prairie.” <<
It is the smallest room, with a full size bed with a heated mattress pad, a small closet, and a single chair. Note: this room has no heat. A small space heater can be provided if needed.
Other rooms (separate listings) are "Plum Corner," the largest and warmest room, with two queen beds, spacious closet and room for two chairs; and "Rose's Room" with two queen beds, average-sized closet, small table, tiny book case, no chairs and please note: no heat. A small space heater can be provided if needed.
All listings include use of a shared bath with a generously-sized shower, toilet, and small sink.
Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper. The two-lane state highway is well traveled by trucks during the day; relatively quiet at night. Freight trains pass by at all hours of the day and they blow their whistles. Thankfully there are no clanking bells and crossing arms.
Cold winter nights can mean chilly rooms. I’ll do my best to keep you warm, but in winter you might want to bring your coziest jammies and a pair of warm socks. As previously mentioned, The Little Room on the Prairie and Rose's Room have no furnace vents. In the olden days homes simply were not heated and cooled as they are today.
Visitors come to Walnut Grove to tour the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. The museum and gift store have seasonal hours (www.walnutgrove.org). Three weekends in July, Laura fans come for the Wilder Pageant, an outdoor reenactment of the Ingalls Family’s prairie life.
--Nellie's Cafe serves breakfast and lunch; closed Sundays.
--The Walnut Grove Bar & Grill serves lunch and dinner, has a full bar with pool tables, and a liquor store; closed Sundays. They open at 10:30 a.m. but closing times vary for the liquor store, kitchen and bar; due to weather, day of the week, and other factors--it's a good idea to call for times.
--Bubai Food Store has fresh, frozen, and prepared foods, sundries, ice and a purified water dispenser. They also feature a wide selection of Asian grocery items. Walnut Grove has a thriving Hmong population.
--Hoyt Oil and Convenience store has food, drinks, snacks, gas, lottery, and an ATM machine.
-- Fond Memories at the Creamery is a well-stocked scrapbooking, arts and crafts store located on Main Street downtown. @fondmemorieswalnutgrove
--Jossie's Junk With Purpose is a wonderful country home decor store on the west end of town. Many of the home's furnishings came from this local shop. Wed-Sat 9-5
Tracy, MN is the next town to the west, 15 minutes away; groceries, vintage and thrift stores, hardware stores, a Subway sandwich shop, and my dentist.
Marshall is north on Hwy 59 for 15 minutes more; Walmart, Menards, Runnings, HyVee, Aldi, a touchless car wash, liquor store, Culvers, Goodwill and much more, plus Southwest Minnesota State University. Go Mustangs!
Revere is the closest town to the east, about a 5 minute drive; and home of Bruiser's Place; real good food and a full bar.
Lamberton is 7 minutes further east. It's a quaint town and home of the Main Street Peddlar antique store, and The Knitted Swan, a store with a diverse selection of craftsman-made upcycled furniture, yarn, and knitted goods and supplies. Owner Bill Swan is responsible for many of the upgrades made to this old house.
During early-August, Sturgis Rally bikers pass by in impressive numbers, with a 7-hour due west journey ahead of them. Then, a few weeks later, they head back east.
Walnut Grove is just one of the many tiny rural farm towns in southwestern Minnesota, but it seemed a good spot for the Ingalls to settle. I, and the many avid fans of Laura and her family agree, "east or west, home is best." While you're here, you are home.
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