Westville, Florida


In 1891, Laura and Almanzo Wilder left Almanzo's parents' home in Spring Valley, Minnesota, and settled in the tiny community of New Hope, Florida, near Westville. Laura's cousin, Peter Franklin Ingalls, was already living here with his wife Mary ("Molly"). Laura could not tolerate the humid weather, however, and she and Almanzo returned to De Smet, South Dakota less than a year later. Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who was about five years old when the family lived in New Hope, wrote a short story entitled "Innocence" based on the family's stay here.


A historical marker has been placed on the Peter Ingalls property, commemorating Laura's and Almanzo's stay here. The Mt. Ida Methodist and Congregational Church which Almanzo and Laura attended while living here, as did the Peter Ingalls family, still stands. The graves of Peter, his wife, and one son, Alex, can be found behind the church.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl

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Rebecca Brammer & Phil Greetham
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