Also included in the tour is Laura and Almanzo's rock house. Rose built this for her aging parents to give them a home with the modern conveniences of the day.
The Rock House, as Laura termed it, is located just down the road from Rocky Ridge Farm. Although beautiful, Laura and Almanzo longed for their little farmhouse and lived only eight years here before they moved back "home".
The Rock House has only recently been added to the tour. The Wilders sold it shortly after they moved out, and it has changed hands several times through the years. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association was finally able to purchase it, and after seven years of restoration, it's now included in the price of admission.
This home doesn't have as much furnishings as the Rocky Ridge house and doesn't looked lived in at all. It looks as if they are still in the process of returning it to its original state. It's still beautiful and worth the small drive from the farm to see it.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of information I learned while touring this house is the fact that it was a Sears house kit. I've seen pictures of kit homes, but I've never actually been inside one. I wish they were still sold. The Rock House is beautiful, functional, and surprisingly modern.
The tour guide told us there were several outbuildings that used to be located in the pasture below the house. Almanzo still wanted to do farm work, even though he was 75 years old, and so he took up goats.
The story is that everyday he would walk to the pen, milk the goats, carry the milk bucket in one hand, his cane in the other, and walk up the hill to the springhouse where the milk would be stored.
When I visited, there was a groundhog that was down by the creek. I'm from Florida, and the only groundhog I've ever seen is Punxsutawney Phil on television. I wanted a picture, so down the hill I went.
All I can say is that Almanzo must have been in good shape for 75. I was out of breath climbing that hill back up to the house and I was carrying only a camera!