Independence, Kansas. Little House Museum

We drove north and west to state number 26. Kansas! Cornfields and rolling gentle hills. Barns and cute small towns. "Wow. So much corn!" Milo says.
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We stopped at the original and largest Bass Pro Shop. "Disneyland for Men" Bob said. The whole store is uber decorated with mounted animals and paintings and art. There is a GIANT fish tank You could spend all day wandering here.
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We are staying at Elk City State Park in Independence, Kansas. Beautiful woods for hiking and exploring (if it wasn't 102!) and a lake and a pond to test out the new fishing equipment.
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Independence, Kansas is the town Pa went to in the Little House on the Prarie book. Out on the prairie, just outside of town there is a replica of the little house that Pa built. It is built following the careful descriptions in the book. It is at the place where census shows the Ingalls family lived. Carrie was born on the property in 1870. It is marvelous. The whole grounds take perhaps an hour to explore but it is very worth it if you're a Laura Ingalls Wilder geek or history buff like me.

"It's so tiny" Matilda said.
"It's so tiny" Matilda said.
Traps hung on the wall
Traps hung on the wall

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The Little House on the Prairie is my favorite book of the series. I loved imagining being a pioneer girl out on the prairie having adventures. It was so neat to sit in the house and listen to the wind and the birds and insects and imagine for a moment again.
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Also on the property is a schoolhouse circa 1872-1948, and a post office 1885-1977. Both were moved to the property from nearby. You can also see the hand dug well that Pa made.

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Doctor stuff from the time period. I love the beautiful jar of leeches
Doctor stuff from the time period. I love the beautiful jar of leeches

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Plow, post office and school house
Plow, post office and school house

There are also adorable donkeys and a mule and a nice little gift shop. There is a box out front where they take donations ($4/1)
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We drove to Coffeyville. Bob is related to the Dalton Gang. In 1892 his kin tried to rob two banks at the same time. They were unsuccessful. As they raced away from the alarm at the first bank two were shot in "death alley", another two shot outside the bank and a fifth was shot 23 times but lived. 4 citizens were also killed from the 300+ shots fired that day. There is a museum of the town and a few memorials to the famous event which we toured. Milo was enthusiastic to learn he was related to real outlaws.

The outlaws were layed in front of the bank. And memorialized in painting
The outlaws were layed in front of the bank. And memorialized in painting
Death alley with the bank in the background.
Death alley with the bank in the background.
Isham Hardware is the first hardware store in Kansas. Had a nice Mural of the events to see in town.
Isham Hardware is the first hardware store in Kansas. Had a nice Mural of the events to see in town.

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We stopped to do some more fishing.
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We had a bit of excitement when, while trying to untangle Matilda's line, Bob accidentally hooked himself. We couldn't get it out and there was no urgent care or er in town but thankfully the local fire department was there to help and Bob was freed from his hook.
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