We're continuing around the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite towns (with museums) in the order that Laura lived there. We move on to Independence, Kansas and the rural Montgomery County area just outside it.
New fans and uninitiated writers of newspaper articles and blog posts often confuse Independence, Kansas with its larger cousin Independence, Missouri. Part of the confusion comes from the face that Independence, Missouri is a larger town and more famous as the home of former President Harry S. Truman and site of a major incident that helped push the Mormons to immigrate to Utah (then outside of official U.S. boundaries). It also is right on the border of Missouri and Kansas and is now a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri to further confuse people on whether the suburb is in Kansas or Missouri. However, it's at the opposite side of the state from our Independence, being practically on the southern border of Kansas and Independence, Missouri being near the northern border.
Independence is a county seat and benefits by being the largest town in the area. It's what is sometimes known as a market town meaning people come from the smaller towns around to it when they want to do shopping. It's fairly isolated off of main travel routes and while there are Interstates in the general area I think most people only end up in Independence if they deliberately head there. It's so close to Oklahoma that you see signs directing you to the Will Rogers Expressway. The town is large enough to support a large number of restaurants, a couple of hotels, and good size museum besides the Laura site out of town. The homesite itself, owned by the Kurtis family, is now officially known as the Little House on the Prairie Museum.
Check out these resources to plan your trip:
- Official City Website
- Independence KS Chamber of Commerce
- Little House on the Prairie Museum
Little House on the Prairie Museum Facebook
Little House on the Prairie Twitter
- Kansas Travel Information Page on Little House on the Prairie Museum
- Mount Hope Cemetery
Independence is one of the homesites that I visit least. It just doesn't seem to be on the way to anywhere and so far I've just made it there twice, although I hope to get back soon. Find a round up of my posts about Independence on my personal blog here. Some businesses that I enjoy visiting and mention in various blog posts are listed here, find more options on the Official City Website and Chamber of Commerce Website under the appropriate tab (shopping, where to stay, etc.):
- Brothers Railroad Inn
- Independence Public Library
- Independence Historical Museum Note: A previous version of their website included an Ingalls Room. I can't find that on the current site.
Sarah S. Uthoff blogs at TrundleBed Tales; look for her on Facebook, Twitter , YouTube, Blog Talk Radio, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association, Acting President.