top of page

About Us

The Almanzo & Laura Ingalls Wilder Association (ALIWA), incorporated June 5, 1987, is a volunteer, historic, educational non-profit organization.

MISSION: The mission of the Almanzo & Laura Ingalls Wilder Association is to educate people about rural life in northern New York from 1840-1875 through the restoration and preservation of the Wilder Homestead, boyhood home of Almanzo Wilder, using Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, as a reference.

The museum/home-stead consists of 84 acres of:

  • Farmland

  • Woods

  • Restored ORIGINAL post and beam constructed farmhouse (1840-1843)

  • Reconstructed post and beam-framed barns and outbuildings

  • Museum/visitor center/research library/ archives/gift shop/ office building complex

  • Replica one-room schoolhouse

  • Orchard

  • Heritage garden

  • Covered picnic pavilion

  • Nature trail to the Wilder family frontage on the Trout River

DSC_1305-1.jpg
Ann S in barn with visitors.jpg

Our Passion

This organization and historical site provide an educational opportunity through narrated tours, workshops, artifact museum, demonstrations, nature walk, archival research availability, school tours, and special events (i.e.. Christmas With Almanzo, Harvest Festival/Civil War Living History, annual cultural festival, etc.) for children and visitors to experience the period lifestyle of Almanzo Wilder who was born and raised here, 1857-1875.

 

Interpretation of this site is based on the American classic book, Farmer Boy, written by Almanzo’s wife, famed author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, as he described his recollections of his life at this farm to her.

 

This historic house is the only ORIGINAL house on its original site of all those written about in the Little House book series.

 

It is the only site dedicated to and original to Almanzo Wilder. It is an important piece of northern New York history.

Preserving Legacy 

When the Almanzo & Laura Ingalls Wilder Association purchased the Wilder Farm property in 1987, their mission was to restore the homestead to its original state; preserving its historical significance. Events that occurred in the house and upon the land, while Laura’s husband, Almanzo, was growing up, are documented in her book, Farmer Boy, and celebrated by readers of Laura Ingalls Wilder books and fans of the ‘Little House on the Prairie’ TV series, literally everywhere in the world.  

But restoring an over 150-year-old farmhouse, with its traditional paned-windows and wide-plank wood floors, to its original condition; a house that had been left unoccupied and uncared for, for many years, was certainly going to be a challenge. 

   

It would also be exceedingly rewarding. After all, the house was full of history. A charming, durable history, in fact. One well-worth preserving. 

house w people.jpg

It’s interesting to note that, historically, most homesteaders built their homes in stages. The main part of the house, with the kitchen, living area, and maybe a bedroom, usually came first. Additional bedrooms, upstairs areas, formal entertaining areas, and other less necessary parts of the house were added as time and resources became available. In fact, it often took homesteaders years to complete their homes.  

Completing the restoration; restoring the house room by room, using the same materials and traditional, time-honored methods of craftsmanship used in home-construction during the mid-to-late 19th century, allowed Association members and the skilled craftsmen involved in the work, to gain a much-deeper understanding of the rewards and difficulties that the Wilder family must have experienced, while building their home. 

   

The site is on the National History Registry and is a Literary Landmark. The preservation of that history, through the preservation of this site, which embodies the traditions and way of life of the local community, helps those visiting the Wilder Homestead and Museum, recognize and understand the region’s heritage and respect its bucolic history, whether they are experiencing the setting of the ‘Farmer Boy’ narrative for the first or the fiftieth time. 

pantry_edited.jpg

It’s interesting to note that, historically, most homesteaders built their homes in stages. The main part of the house, with the kitchen, living area, and maybe a bedroom, usually came first. Additional bedrooms, upstairs areas, formal entertaining areas, and other less necessary parts of the house were added as time and resources became available. In fact, it often took homesteaders years to complete their homes.  

Completing the restoration; restoring the house room by room, using the same materials and traditional, time-honored methods of craftsmanship used in home-construction during the mid- to late-19th-century, allowed Association members and the skilled craftsmen involved in the work, to gain a much-deeper understanding of the rewards and difficulties that the Wilder family must have experienced, while building their home. 

The site is on the National History Registry and is a Literary Landmark. The preservation of that history, through the preservation of this site, which embodies the traditions and way of life of the local community, helps those visiting the Wilder Homestead and Museum, recognize and understand the region’s heritage and respect its bucolic history, whether they are experiencing the setting of the ‘Farmer Boy’ narrative for the first or the fiftieth time. 

2024 Board Members

Dale Chapin

President

Carl Tillinghast

Vice-President

Donna Johnson

Treasurer 

Robin Abbott

Secretary

Ken Carre

Past-President

Bruce Bonesteel, Mary Craig, Karen Carre, David Dowden, Diane DuMont, Richard Gast, 
Christine Mueller, Bridgette Schack, Ann Selkirk
bottom of page