What Was Here Before Us?

When I was around eight or nine years old I was learning about pioneers and First Nations people and found a huge love for it. So, my parents gave me my great grandmas Little House on the Prairie novel set. I read all nine books within the year, and loved them. Following the books, my parents bought me the DVD series (there are ten seasons in total), and I would get them over time for birthdays, Christmas, etc. Then, when I was fourteen years old, my family went on a trip to South Dakota to see the Black Hills area, and on our way back we stopped in De Smet, South Dakota which is where the main character of the series actually lived.

When we went on our nature walk, I liked learning things about what was on the land, however, what happened on the land before we got there was left out. This made me think of this trip that I went on because we got to experience the history of the land. I realize that there was still tons of history on the land before approx. 1885, but we were still able to experience the history. We were able to see many historical buildings such as a dug out and one room school house. There were fascinating things inside these buildings such as antique household appliances that we could use, old washboards, antique farm machinery, and many more. Not only could we see these things, but we could use them. We pumped our own water from an old well that the family actually dug, we made our own rope, made hay twists for a fire, etc. We learnt how to drive a covered wagon and take care of a wagon, and we learnt about their way of life. It was so cool to learn not only about what is on the land, but to imagine how the land was used over one hundred years ago.

IMG_1662There is a lookout tower where you can see the entire homestead in front of you, and my picture is a drawing of this view with pictures of a few of the things on the land that I visited.


3 thoughts on “What Was Here Before Us?

  1. tayahrutzki says:

    Great connection with your past and the reading! I like how you are wondering about the land even though you got to experience it. I like your picture and how you added photos to your drawing of the place that you visited!

    I was also a big fan of little house on the prairies! :


  2. Audrey says:

    Carley, I too was fascinated with these stories as a child. We might, now, use Liz Newbery’s Canoe Pedagogy article to question why we feel attached to stories of being a pioneer, homesteading, and visiting these historical sites. What perspective / paradigm / worldview continues to be re-centered and what stories are left out?


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