Little house in the praire

Archaeology of a Little House on the Prairie Workshop

This workshop was held July 14-15, 2023 - MN and Walnut Grove, MN

“GOING WEST—A LONG time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie left their little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.” This two-day workshop for teachers of grade 3-8 will connect them to the past through a Project Archaeology shelter investigation of an historic farmhouse in the prairie setting of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book series: Mankato and Walnut Grove, MN.

The first day of the workshop will take place at the Blue Earth County History Center in Mankato, MN with lessons and exhibits to enhance our learning of archaeology, historic photographs, and culture. On the second day we will “uncover” a farmhouse archaeological site exploring the geography, history, and artifacts of a real house on the prairie. Our investigation will conclude with a field trip to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Ingalls Dugout archaeological site. Teachers will also have an option to stay that evening in Walnut Grove to watch the famous Wilder Pageant.

If you have any questions, contact Samantha Kirkley at

Sponsored by the Institute for Heritage Education, Project Archaeology, and Southern Utah University.

Institute for Heritage Education Logo Bureau of Land Management Logo Nevada Gold Mines Logo


Utah Project Archaeology