Walnut Grove, Minn.-The little house that Charles Ingalls built for his family when they arrived in Walnut Grove has long been noted for its sturdy construction but plain interior, with critics pointing to the complete lack of decoration inside the home. We recently sat down with Charles Ingalls, who revealed the dark and shocking secret of the Ingalls family.
“I didn’t always plan to have the house so bare,” Charles comments. “I thought it would be great for Caroline to dress the place up a bit. You know, when we were in Kansas we didn’t really have access to stores for her to really decorate the little prairie house, so when we moved to Walnut Grove and we have access to the Mercantile and can even order items from anywhere really with the regular postal service, well, yeah, I thought Caroline would be excited to spruce the place up.”
Although Charles started off feeling generous towards letting his wife decorate their home in the style of her choosing, things quickly took a turn for the worse. It seems that one day Charles arrived home from the mill only to find a “Live, Laugh, Love” signed placed atop the mantle.
“It’s really just insulting to come home after a hard day of work for my family to that,” Charles emphatically asserts. “I mean, I work hard all day at the mill and come home hoping for a nice home cooked meal, and what do I see? That monstrosity of a sign on top of the mantle that I so carefully carved to represent our family. I demanded that the sign be removed and Caroline asked if we could compromise, maybe have a small “Live, Laugh, Love” lampshade. I had to put my foot down. ‘Caroline,’ I said, ‘I just can’t live like this!’”
From that day forward, Caroline has been forbidden from buying décor for the little house. As Charles Ingalls put it, “I’d rather live in a completely bare home than have such bad taste surrounding me.” When asked where the sign came from, Charles reveals that Caroline bought it from Oleson’s Mercantile.
The Prairie Review reached out to the Olesons to inquire about the stock of “Live, Laugh, Love” merchandise. According to Nels Oleson, “it was just a bunch of junk that Harriet ordered. I never wanted any part of it!” Harriet insists that she bought it only as a joke, but the look on Nels face revealed that Harriet really bought it thinking it would place the Mercantile on the cutting edge of décor trends.
As we were speaking with the Olesons, Charles Ingalls was packing up his wagon to move to Burr Oak. “I can’t live in this town anymore, not now that this secret is out.”
Shortly after our interview with Charles, a new family, the Carters, moved into the little house and demonstrated that it is actually pretty cute when you put up a few curtains, add a cabinet, and throw down a rug.