Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder
The community of Walnut Grove sprang up in 1870. Its name came from the beautiful grove of walnut trees along the banks of Plum Creek where settlers found rich land and plentiful game. Although a grasshopper plague almost destroyed the settlement in the same year it began, perseverance, hard work, and a strong Christian faith carried the community through the many hard times. A school took root in 1873 and the Congregational Church was built in 1874. Soon, the town boasted having three general stores, hardware, drug, grocery, flour and feed stores, a hotel, confectionery, lumber yard, fuel dealer, harness shop, shoe shop, blacksmith shop, meat market, elevator, a doctor’s office, a law office, and one saloon. Today, Walnut Grove is home to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum as well as the yearly Wilder Pageant—both enticements for visitors to travel from around the world to seek the experiences of historic and contemporary prairie life.