The tale of how Winterwoods Homes and The Little House on the Prairie Museum met
In December of 2016, The Little House on the Prairie Museum took the first step toward the realization of their Grand Vision for the site of the original Laura Ingalls Wilder family homestead near Independence, Kansas, and made famous by her ageless story book The Little House on the Prairie. Inspired by the Historic Collection of replica log cabins designed by Winterwoods Homes, leadership at The Little House on the Prairie Museum reached out to Winterwoods Homes lead designer and owner, Jeffery Caudill to interpret and render replicas of the original Laura Ingalls Wilder family cabin and barn.
Caudill and his design team at Winterwoods Homes have interpreted each structure based upon the original account of Laura Ingalls Wilder as noted in her famed Little House on the Prairie book. Illustrations by Garth Williams, the illustrator for all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House book series were studied, research on the era, and the frontier lifestyle of Laura Ingalls Wilder all influenced the team.
Now, make your very own history today! Be among the first to experience the Laura Ingalls Wilder rustic lifestyle with our Ready-to-Buy cabin and barn floor plans by Winterwoods Homes and The Little House on the Prairie Museum!
The Winterwoods Homes Foundation will be making a donation to The Little House on the Prairie Museum with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these designs. Please join us in our support for the Mission and Grand Vision for the Museum and the original site of the Laura Ingalls Wider family homestead. Learn more below!
The Mission and Grand Vision
The Little House on the Prairie Museum
LHOPM is a non-profit historical site and museum dedicated to preserving the homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder, 13 miles Southwest of Independence, Kansas. As a 501(c)3 organization, the goal is to continue to educate the public about the author Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little House on the Prairie Books, and life on the Prairie in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The museum stands on the original land where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived with her family in a one-room log cabin in 1870. Memories of her time here later inspired her to pen the indelible classic, Little House on the Prairie. She then created a series of nine books geared towards children but loved by all. The books depicted the adventures of her family as they traveled across American pioneer country in a covered wagon. The mission of the Little House on the Prairie Museum is to encourage a love of reading, Kansas history, the Kansas Prairie, and help keep the memory of Laura Ingalls Wilder alive through the preservation of the Kansas homestead site of the Laura Ingalls Wilder family.
The staff and leadership at LHOPM strive to share with visitors the majestic Kansas prairie that inspired Laura Ingalls Wilder when living here as a young girl, and to continue to promote and encourage children’s literacy through the Little House books series. All proceeds benefit the site and its continued operation and up-keep. The historic site is the birth place of baby Carrie, Laura’s sister, and also includes a one room school house from 1872, as well as a one room post office and farm house from the same time period. The cabin that now sits on the Little House on the Prairie Museum site was reconstructed according to Laura Ingalls’ own descriptions by Brigadier General William A. Kurtis and his wife, Wilma Horton Kurtis, with the help of volunteers from the local chapter of the Jaycees from Independence in 1977. Unfortunately, the cabin has fallen into a state of near ruin, and is in danger of being condemned by local building officials.
The need to replace the cabin is eminent, so the leadership at LHOPM has outlined the framework to accomplish this feat! Winterwoods Homes, Log and Timber Frame Architects, was retained and has created the renderings for replicas of the original cabin and barn that are being proposed, and gifted them to the LHOPM as an initial donation to kick start the fundraising initiative of the larger, “Grand Vision” for the LHOPM homestead site.
“Home is the nicest word there is.”—
Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Grand Vision
Phase One – The keystone to the LHOPM Grand Vision is the replacement of the dilapidated cabin, and the replacement with the newly designed cabin and barn seen below. After the cabin and barn have been built, a new site plan will guide crews to complete grounds improvements of the Independence, KS homestead location and accompanying structures, exhibits, offices and farm house gift shop. The campaign to raise funds for the completion of all tasks noted above in Phase One is now underway. The Goal – $150,000
Phase Two – At the conclusion of Phase One, LHOPM will begin the design and build out of a new community center/visitor center facility as seen below, to allow for the furtherance of the LHOPM mission and to expand the reach of the museum’s partnering opportunities with the Osage Indian Nation and other programmatically compatible entities through education outreach initiatives. The new facility will house the new Prairie Store (gift shop), new illustrations exhibit, large presentation and public speaking engagement rooms, a classroom for children on field trips or online instruction, 3-4 working spaces and classrooms for the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, FFA, and 4H for ongoing projects. The Goal – $1,750,000
Phase Three – The design and build out of a new Prairie Town, Independence, KS, circa 1870, will expand the museum’s capabilities exponentially. The new facilities will have state of the art audio/video technology, and enhanced internet with virtual capabilities. Such facilities will allow for even greater opportunities to implement a Department of Education standards driven supplementary curriculum for teachers with interactive website for teachers and students. LHOPM already has the curriculum that matches the Oklahoma and Kansas Dept. of Education standards. The Goal – $4,000,000
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder
Please join Winterwoods Homes and The Winterwoods Homes Foundation as we strive to make The Little House on the Prairie Museum Grand Vision a reality, and perpetuating the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder to the next generation of Little House lovers!