Recently, I found a couple of pictures from a trip to Iowa and a hotel that Laura's parents managed when she was a child. Their stay was for only a year according to the Masters Hotel website. Because most tourist places are currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, I thought I would share!
Traveling through Iowa
When there were breaks in the cornfields, we were allowed glimpses of beautiful farms with houses.
Now back to the trip.
On the Road
The minute we entered the building (NOT pictured above), I didn't like the dirty feel or the smell. No problem! We couldn't stay there anyway. The place was booked up with road construction workers who were living there until they finished the construction on the highway we'd just exited. This is one of those "God things" that I love, where he watches over me and gives me blessings without my asking. I had no way to check the internet from my phone for another place to stay. I'm pretty certain it was the era of my flip phone (still have it in its original box). So I did the next best thing! I asked the clerk if she could recommend a nice place in or near that city. She recommended a beautiful inn (place in photo above) that was built in a country setting. Our room with two comfortable beds was super lovely and clean!
There was a visitor center with items you could purchase for souvenirs.
The Masters HotelThe Masters Hotel sat across the street from the visitor center. The hotel was operated by Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Pa and Ma) after leaving Walnut Grove. Pa did more of the managing and Ma did the cooking. Laura is reported to have been nine years old at the time. Her sister Grace was born in Burr Oak. Read about her birth here. In my photo below, you can see a window air conditioner. Photos on their website do not show the window unit. I conclude they switched to a central air system.
The Masters Hotel was its own museum. We took a step back in time and with a guide toured the hotel. It's been years since we took that trip, but I remember the kitchen's location was in the basement. I believe the Ingall's bedroom was located there, as well. Something else that stuck in my memory was a bedroom on the top floor, a tiny room, smaller than most of today's walk-in closets. Our guide told us that the room was often used to bunk several men overnight. It was hard to wrap my head around that at least two men would sleep on the tiny cot like beds while other men slept side-by-side on the floor. The hotel got their money's worth!
The day was beautiful. The hotel was alive with history. Our guide helped us imagine life then and the people who passed through the Master's Hotel.
Have you read any of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books? Have you visited any of the historic home sites?