De Smet SD Around the Web

We’re continuing around the Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite towns (with museums) in the order that Laura lived there. Our next stop is De Smet, South Dakota. De Smet is the county seat of Kingsbury County. Situated on Highway 14 with a fairly short and direct route from I-90, De Smet is well situated for the ease of tourists….assuming they get near South Dakota in the first place.

Camping in a Covered Wagon

Camping in a Covered Wagon

De Smet is one of the largest homesite towns proper and a couple of college towns (the one people pass through most is Brookings) are nearby with even more options. De Smet can boast all sorts of accommodations from a modern hotel with a pool to a covered wagon you can rent to camp in for the night and about everything in between. There are also several restaurants, including a Country Club. So there is plenty to do in De Smet, Laura related or not.  Since the majority of Laura’s books and her growing up years were spent in De Smet and Pa, Ma, Mary, Carrie, and Grace continued to live in the area after Laura left, there are more places to see in and around De Smet related to Laura and her family than any other homesite town. It formed the setting for five of Laura’s books as a result many places, both mentioned in the books and important in real life are still around for people to visit. While some have been lost, like Pa’s original store building and the Wilder Feed and Seed, many are still around and visitable. For example, you can shop at the Loftus Store, stay over night at Banker Ruth’s house (the Prairie Manor Bed and Breakfast), tour the Surveyor’s house and De Smet’s first school, walk or ride over the Ingalls Homestead, pay your respects to the family at the local cemetery, and that’s just a fraction of everything to see and do in De Smet. I never have enough time to spend there.

Check out some of these resources to help you plan your trip:

De Smet is one of my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder homesite towns. I go as often as I can and I know of a couple of families who went there to visit and ended up moving there.

Find a round up of my posts about De Smet 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.):

Sarah S. Uthoff blogs at TrundleBed Tales; look for her on Facebook, Twitter , YouTubeBlog Talk Radio, Google+, LinkedIn, and Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association, Acting President.

Posted in De Smet -- General, De Smet -- Ingalls Homestead, De Smet -- LIWMS, Homesites, Museums and Attractions, Little House Travel Tagged with: , ,
One comment on “De Smet SD Around the Web
  1. Elizabeth Ann says:

    I just returned from DeSmet last weekend, and as I type this so many lucky folks are headed to Brookings and then on to DeSmet for LauraPalooza 2015.

    To me, DeSmet holds a certain magic. I have read and re-read Laura’s books so many times, I know some of the chapters almost by heart. To sit in the schoolhouse that Laura attended and walk down the same streets that Laura walked is truly a touching experience. Visiting the Surveyor’s House and realizing that at the time they occupied it, it was the biggest house Laura had ever lived in was astounding.

    My favorite place was the Ingalls Homestead. This might sound weird, but I felt so close to Laura there. I could see why she loved the prairie so much, especially during the summertime. The replica cabin that has been built is very similar to how she described in her books. And the sights, sounds and smells of her prairie come to life when you are there.

    We were fortunate to stay at the other B&B in town, The Heritage House Bed and Breakfast, which was a bank in the 1880s and sits on the corner across from where Pa’s building had originally been. It is beautifully restored, and I loved waking up and looking out onto Main Street and imagining that I was looking at the same view that the Laura and her family did so many years ago.

    I hope that one day I am able to visit this wonderful town again.