|Apr 01, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home Association originally approached Rural Development with a need for additional infrastructure in the form of public water and sewer services to the historic home. In addition, the Association found itself in need of more space to house a library.
How Rural Development Helped:
USDA Rural Development funded a $200,000 Community Facility Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the addition of a new 6,000 square foot archival library. Coupled with the ARRA funds, Rural Development was able to provide a $390,000 guaranteed loan through the Bank of Mansfield. Also funded was a Rural Business Enterprise Grant in the amount of $117,000 to extend public water and sewer services to the Wilder Home.
The addition of the archival library will allow for public exhibitions; storage, research and reading rooms for the local community, students and universities conducting historical research. Public water and sewer will bring the Home and Museum up to current standards and provide a convenience for visitors.
Jean Coday, President of the Board of Directors, expressed appreciation, “Our purpose is to preserve the home, writing and mementos of Laura Ingalls Wilder and allow children and adults the opportunity to visit and research her life and writings. We are thankful for the partnerships that have provided funding to allow for the construction of this archival library and exhibition facility. Many years from now, families will visit Rocky Rider Farm to learn about rural Missouri life in the 1920's. All of us should be proud of this saved heritage and those who are making it possible.”
The City of Mansfield and Wright County, Missouri, are proud of the Association's contribution to their historical preservation efforts. Over 55,000 people visit the Home and Museum each year.