Day 2: Pepin, WI
Trip Start Jul 21, 2010
22Trip End Jul 29, 2010
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When we arrived in Pepin, we immediately saw the large image of a little girl in a bonnet that marks the Pepin Historical Museum and Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum. These museums clearly exist only to satisfy the desires of people like us who head off every so often to visit the sites of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books. The Pepin Historical Museum tried to claim a few other noteworthy facts about its history but, basically, this town is only on the map because of Laura
The Wayside is located on the approximate site of the "Little House in the Big Woods," and it is a replica of the log cabin Pa, Ma, Mary, Laura, and Baby Carrie lived in. According to one of the biographies in the Museum, Laura actually only lived in this house until she was three. However, when she wrote about this time period for her first book, her publishers refused to believe that she could have any memories from being three and so they insisted that she write the book as if she were a five-year old. (I also learned that the "Lake Pepin" that Laura refers to in the book is actually a widening in the Mississippi River.) The Wayside was very cute. The log cabin was tiny (even without two adults and three little children living in it) and very sweet. There is a large bulletin board with information about Laura's life including the record of births and deaths from the Wilder family bible and a record of school attendance with Mary and Laura's names on the roster. There was also a letter that Laura had written to school children who had written her letters after reading the Little House Books. In the letter she explains that the world she grew up in was very different to the world now (this was back in the 1950s shortly before Laura's death), but that, still, some things hadn't changed. Specifically, she said:
"It is still best to be honest and truthful;
to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures and
to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong."I thought this was very accurate.
More pictures of days 1-2 at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=192664&id=837899636&l=ac0d02cebf