The Real "Ma" and "Pa": 20 Rare and Amazing Vintage Photographs That Show What The People From ‘Little House On The Prairie’ Really Looked Like:
The Little House on the Prairie books series is a children’s literature classic that’s not only entertaining, but provides a unique snapshot of life in the Midwestern United States at a time when that area was rapidly changing.
Little House on the Prairie has a special place in the hearts of Americans and many others around the world. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s stories, based on her real-life experience of growing up amid the hardships of the Midwest during the late 19th century, have struck a chord with generations of readers and viewers.
Though the book series and the popular TV show based on it are fictional, they draw heavily on author Laura Ingalls Wilder’s real life and family. Take a look at these rare photos of the people behind the timeless stories...
1. 1860: The Real "Ma" and "Pa"
Charles and Caroline Ingalls, the original "Ma" and "Pa" from Little House on the Prairie, on their wedding day on February 1, 1860.
Charles was born in 1836 and spent the majority of his youth in the tallgrass prairie of Campton Township, just west of Elgin, Illinois. He met and quickly married a 21-year old Caroline Lake Quiner, who was working as a schoolteacher at the time, and they made a home in Pepin County, Wisconsin. They had their first daughter, Mary Amelia, in January, 1865, followed by the birth of Laura in February, 1867. Despite being a high-spirited, outgoing man, Charles wasn't much for people, and he had an insatiable wanderlust. In 1869, before Laura was two years old, he packed up the family and moved to Missouri, then to a town near what is now Independence, Kansas, where their third daughter, Carrie, would be born in 1870.
2. Carrie, Mary, and Laura Ingalls, ca. 1882
From left to right: Carrie, Mary, and Laura Ingalls around 1882. Mary had lost her sight three years earlier.
The young family …