Why Only Laura?

It’s been more than half a century since Laura Ingalls Wilder graced the earth. It’s been even longer since the phrase “The end of the Little House series” first appeared on the last page of the last book she wrote. But her community of fans has never been more robust. They span generations. Even today, in the empty era of Britney and Paris, Laura Ingalls is still a heroine. Children who discover her through TV reruns or sliced-and-diced picture books still find their way to her timeless book series. The world of Little House is just that: timeless.

These fans mirror each other. They know that the feathers on Laura’s poke bonnet cream-colored hat were ostrich. [And these fans make mistakes, apparently. The correction and reminder are much appreciated!] They know what Ma’s favorite hymn was. They imagine the taste of oyster soup on New Year’s Day and of sizzling ham and apples’n’onions in a nineteenth-century kitchen in New York State.

They go where Laura went. They collect pebbles at Lake Pepin, as five-year-old Laura did. They visit Almanzo’s boyhood home in New York and search immediately for the black splotch on the parlor wall. They wade in Plum Creek in Minnesota and watch the sunset in South Dakota. They imagine what it was like to be Laura, if only for a moment.

Most of all, they know Laura. Thanks to independent research and the almighty Google, these fans probably know more of the truth than the Little House series revealed. But they also know that the magic of Little House is so much more than that. After all the reading, all the travels, all the commisseration with fellow fans, they continue to come back to the simple, comforting fact that Laura Ingalls wasn’t just a book or TV character. She was real.

This blog is for them.

Only Laura is maintained by friends of the Homesteader, a full-color print newsletter about Laura Ingalls Wilder and all her homesites, which is printed twice per year and available by subscription. Sandra Hume, editor of the Homesteader, administers the blog but posts can be written by anyone. Any topic is welcome — even the TV show isn’t off limits, within reason — as long as it’s somehow germane to Laura Ingalls Wilder.

3 Responses to Why Only Laura?

  1. Erica Randall says:

    oh my goodness this is one of the best things i have ever found!!!!!!!!!! I love Laura and every since i first heard her name i became Laura, my friends got sick of it by first grade….. but i kept loving it and i still do. If there is one thing i will never foreget about her it is how she always had her bonnet off, i love that! And when she got married and Grace ran out with Laura’s old bonnet… So thank you so much for having this web-site because so many others are stuck on the show and not the real Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder.

    -Erica

  2. We’re so glad you like it, Erica! Keep coming back. You’ll like what we write.

  3. Laura says:

    I just found this blog and am so happy I did! We are huge ‘Little House’ fans. We read the books over and over and over…I even have some photos on my blog of my children ‘playing Little House’.
    I must say that I’m pretty pleased that my name is Laura.
    Looking forward to checking back here 🙂

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