The New York Post recently published an article celebrating Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of The Little House on the Prairies Series’, 150th Birthday, and New Ulm’s Harkin Store was mentioned! The article describes the Wilder family’s journey through the Midwest and where to go if you wanted to make the same journey today. It starts in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Laura was born and ends in De Smet, South Dakota, where her final books take place. All along the way you can visit her old houses, now converted into museums. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove is a must on the Wilder tour. The article says before you get there though, make sure to stop at the Harkin Store outside of New Ulm! The article describes the store as being, “a virtual time capsule from when this general store shuttered in 1901, this is your best chance to see what the similar Oleson Store would have looked like in its prime.” Stored on the shelves are fabrics, storage vessels, chinaware, cooking utensils and medicines. As much as 40% of the inventory is original!
The Harkin Store is located at 66250 County Road 21 – 9 miles northwest of New Ulm on Nicollet County Road 21, and is operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. They are open weekends in May; from Memorial Day to Labor Day—daily except Mondays; weekends from Labor Day to MEA weekend in late October. Costumed guides host programs most summer Sundays. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+), active military w/ID, students w/ID, $4 for children ages 5-17, Free children age 4 & under, MNHS members. For more information or events visit Minnesota Historical Society’s website. The store is a great way to see what life was like during Laura Ingalls Wilder’s lifetime!
If you’d like to dig deeper into the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, you should attend the Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove! The Wilder Pageant is a family-oriented outdoor drama based on the the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. She narrates the story, reflecting on her life in Walnut Grove in the 1870’s. Upcoming pageant events include July 21-22 and July 28-29. Reserved seating costs $17 or bring your own blanket or chair and get general admission tickets for $15. Tickets are available online here or you can call the ticket office at 888-859-3102 or 507-859-2174.
As you drive down the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Highway 14, make sure to stop in New Ulm! Check out the full article by the New York Post here!