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Your Little House on the Prairie Dreams Are Becoming a Reality

A modern log-and-timber home design firm looks to the past to re-create one of America's most cherished homesteads from the Little House on the Prairie franchaise.

Written by Griffin Suber
Photography by Winterwoods Homes

Every year, thousands of "Laura-heads" embark on a pilgrimage to a spit of countryside 13 miles southwest of Independence, Kansas, were a small museum honors one of America's most famous author's homestead: Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie." Now, through a partnership with Winterwoods Homes, the Little House on the Prairie Museum is renovating the original tornado-beaten, frost-bitten, one-room log cabin into a near-perfect replica of the home that inspired dozen of books, movies and TV shows.

Chosen for their work re-creating the households of Davy Crockett and President Andrew Jackson, Winterwoods Homes developed a special appreciation for the project, which owner Jeffery Caudill admits was, "too good not to get involved."

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Through the book’s original illustrations by Garth Williams and research of frontier-era materials and methods, Jeffery and his design team have developed renderings based on the same construction constraints faced by Laura and her family. Modern building codes won’t permit an exact replica (the new plans must account for wheelchair access, borate-treated logs, etc.) but Winterwoods Homes will use stone, earth and approximately 70 trees from the property, itself, to re-create the structure as authentically as possible.

Jean Schodorf, President of the Little House on the Prairie Foundation, says that once they partnered with Winterwoods Homes, it became clear the land had potential beyond a one-room log cabin and barn. The project has now evolved into a “grand vision,” which will include a modern technologically-supported visitor center and “Prairie Town,” intended to showcase frontier life in the 1870s. Their goal is to provide a historically accurate resource for teachers, students and youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America.

If you want to check out the home and museum for yourself, you can make the trek to Independence, or you can simply download the cabin schematics and create your own Little House experience.

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