on the Prairie
|1974 - 1983
story of the Ingalls, a pioneer family
struggling to establish a homestead near the
1870s town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
- Michael Landon as Charles Ingalls, the
- Karen Grassle as Caroline Ingalls, his wife
- Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls, the
middle daughter, whom her father called
"Half-pint." Laura taught at the
local school when she grew up. She fell in love with Almanzo
James Wilder (Dean Butler) and had a daughter
named Rose. As a child, Laura had a black
and white mutt named
Jack who was replaced by
a Collie named
- Melissa Sue Anderson as Mary Ingalls, the
oldest daughter She lost her sight and was
subsequently sent to the Sleepy Eye School for
the blind where she fell in love and married
her instructor Adam Kendall (Linwood Boomer)
and moved to the Dakotas.
- Lindsay/Sidney Greenbush as Carrie Ingalls,
- Matthew Laborteaux as Albert Quinn
Ingalls, adopted son
- Wendi Turnbaugh/Brenda Turnbaugh as
Grace Ingalls, the Ingalls' fourth daughter.
- Jason Bateman/Missy Francis as
James and Cassandra Cooper, two orphans
adopted by the Ingalls.
The Ingalls family
with Bandit the dog
Listen to Theme Music
The members of the Walnut Grove community
- Richard Bull as Nels Oleson, the
town's General store owner, his wife Harriet (Katherine MacGregor)
and their two children Nellie (Alison Arngrim) and Willie (Jonathan
- Kevine Hagen as Doctor Hiram Baker, the town's physician;
- Dabbs Greer as Reverend Robert Alden, the town's minister;
- Karl Swenson as Lars Hansen, the town's Mill owner.
- Victor French as Isaiah Edwards, a local homesteader
and close friend of Charles Ingalls.
- Merlin Olsen as Jonathan Garvey, a local
homesteader and close friend of Charles Ingalls. He had a wife
named Alice (Hersha Parady) and a son named Andy (Patrick
- Ketty Lester as Hester Sue Terhume, a former employee
of the Sleepy Eye School for the blind who moved to Walnut Grove
and worked at the Mrs. Oleson's restaurant.
- Alilson Balson as Nancy Oleson, a young girl whom the
Oleson's adopted. She looked like their own daughter Nellie and
acted just as bratty. Nellie Olson has since grown, married
Percival Dalton (Steve Tracy) and moved to New York to manage his
late father's business.
- Stan Ivar/Pamela Roylance as John and Sarah Carter who
moved into the Ingalls farm when Charles sold the place and moved
to Burr Oak, Iowa where he found a job.
- Leslie Landon as Etta Plum, the teacher who replaced
Laura Ingalls when she decided to stay home and raise her
Screen Captures from Series
The series was based on the "Little House" books
by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In the fall of 1982,
Michael Landon left the series and the show was
renamed LITTLE HOUSE: A NEW BEGINNING with Laura
and her husband Almanzo being the new focus of
On the final two-hour TV Movie episode of the series entitled
"Little House-The Last Farewell" broadcast February 6, 1984, the
land of the town of Walnut Grove was purchased legally (but through
nefarious means) in a land swindle.
Instead of leaving their homes, the citizens dynamited the town
in an act of final desperation/vengeance, leaving only splintered
wood and smoking piles of debris for the new owner.
reality, the TV Walnut Grove was located on leased farm country in Simi
Valley California about 40 miles from Hollywood. Because the lease
required that the television production crew return the land to its
original condition, the show's producer Michael Landon (died of
cancer in 7/1/91) decided to destroy the entire town instead of
seeing it bulldozed into oblivion. Scenes of the real destruction of
this TV town became part of the final TV episode.
In 2005, Disney produced a Little House on the Prairie
miniseries starring Cameron Bancroft as Charles Ingalls, Erin
Cottrell as Caroline Ingalls, Kyle Chavarria as Laura Ingalls and
Danielle Chuchran as Mary Ingalls.
The real Ingalls
family members (on whom the series was based) lived in such diverse places as Burr Oaks, Iowa; DeSmet, South Dakota; Mansfield, Missouri; Pepin, Wisconsin and
Spring Valley, Minnesota.
There are tourist attractions dedicated to
the lives of the Ingalls in Walnut Grove, Minnesota at 330 8th
Street off US 14 (a museum); and Independence, Kansas, the official
site of The Little House on the Prairie; and in DeSmet, South Dakota
at the US 14 exit at Brookings (a refurbished homestead called The
Surveyor's House) It was in DeSmet that the writer Laura Ingalls met
her husband Alonzo Wilder.
Obituaries: Michael Landon: 07/01/1991; Victor
French: 06/15/1989; Kevin Hagen: 07/09/2005;
Dabbs Greer: 04/28/2007; Karl Swenson: 10/08/1978;
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