Laura Ingalls Wilder's Rock House

A Piece of History

The Rock House, at the Rocky Ridge Farm home of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder in Missouri, was where Laura wrote her first four books.

The Rock House, at the Rocky Ridge Farm home of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder in Missouri, was where Laura wrote the first four of her books.

When the Wilders first moved to Mansfield, Missouri, they built the farmhouse, adding on another room when they could. After their daughter Rose grew up in that farmhouse, she moved away and became a well-known writer. She used some of her earnings to build a new house for her parents on their property, and that house became known as the Rock House. Looking at its impressive stone walls, you can see why it earned that nickname. When Laura and Almanzo moved in, Rose lived in the farmhouse.

It was in this Rock House that Rose encouraged Laura to start writing down the stories of her childhood. And those stories eventually became the Little House books. The first four were written in this house. Later on, Rose moved back to New York, and Laura and Almanzo moved back to the farmhouse, selling the Rock House to help with finances. The house is now part of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum, and tours are given inside the house. But as with the farmhouse, photos are not allowed inside the house, so these photos from outside will have to do.

A Nice View

The view from the Rock House, once the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder in Missouri

If you stand in front of the Rock House, where I took the first photo, and turn around to look behind you, you will see that the Wilders had a beautiful view from their new house. And this was in the winter. Just imagine how nice it looks in the summer when everything is green!

I would guess that the view has not changed all that much from those days in the early 20th Century when Laura Ingalls Wilder was writing her books, looking out the windows to see this view. Perhaps the rolling hills reminded her of the hills in the different places she lived, and they helped to bring back those memories of her childhood. Who wouldn’t love a view like that?

Laura at Laura’s House

Laura and the Rock House

Here is Laura in front of Laura’s house. Of course, the Laura in the photo is Laura Burns, not to be confused with Laura Ingalls Wilder, who owned the house.

I thought it was fun to point out the similarity of names, although it probably got a little old after the first time or two. But I do have a rather obvious like of the name Laura. And Laura (Burns) does have the desire to write a children’s book one of these days, so who knows?

One More View

A view of the back of the Rock House at the Rocky Ridge Farm home of Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder in Missouri

Here is one more view of the Rock House. We were up on the hill behind the house. That is the back of the house that you can see here, and then the beautiful field out beyond it. And yes, I waited a minute or two until the people leaving the house tour at the time moved out of the way for this photo.

There is a path that winds along between the Rock House and the farmhouse. As you approach the Rock House along the path, this is what you see. And it is a pretty nice view.

Comparison

Just so you know, I am not putting any pressure at all on Jaylin to build us a house when he reaches adulthood. And we do have a pretty nice view from our front porch, too. So it is interesting to me that Almanzo and Laura moved back to the simple farmhouse instead of staying in this newer house with this fantastic view.

If you compared your house to their farmhouse, you would most likely be happy with what you have right now. And if you spend any time in the kitchen, you would probably be happy with your current kitchen when you compare it to the small Rock House kitchen.

It is easy to compare what we have with what someone else has. Sometimes we are happy with what we have. But at other times, we might feel like what we have is inadequate. Don’t get too caught up in comparisons, letting them drag you down. Realize that what you have is pretty nice, too. Maybe different from what someone else has, but still nice when compared to what many don’t have.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Don’t let what others have steal the joy that you have.

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy - Philippians 1:3-4

About the Photos

As with the farmhouse photos, these were taken with the Sony camera and the Rokinon 35mm f/1.8 lens. The depth of field you can get with the f/1.8 aperture really shows in the photo of Laura and the house. But I also like the depth of field you can see in the second photo, with the tree in perfect focus and the slightly blurred background behind it.

Also, I fell compelled to be completely honest with you and let you know that the sky in the first photo is fake. Because of the angle of the sun, the sky was completely washed out. So I used Luminar Neo to replace the sky with one that matched the other photos, just to have things look consistent. Artistic license, as they say.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Luminar Neo. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: March 10, 2022
Location: MansfieldMissouri


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.