On the Way Home



The diary of a trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894.

With a setting by Rose Wilder Lane

It was 1894 when Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose, left their home in De Smet, South Dakota, and traveled to Mansfield, Missouri. Seven years of too little rain had caused crop after crop to fail, and the prairie had turned to dust. The Wilders packed their wagon, said their good-byes, and set out to begin a new life in Missouri. Laura recorded their journey in a diary, and it is those entries that fill these pages. Traveling was exciting, for they passed through cities buzzing with growth and countryside very different from De Smet. There were also times of danger and fear, full of unfamiliar faces, unpredictable roads, and inclement weather. Share Laura’s inner thoughts as she traveled with her family in search of their new home in Mansfield, where she and Almanzo would remain all the rest of their happy days together.