The log cabin at the Little House on the Prairie site in Kansas will be rebuilt soon.


The current cabin was built near Independence, Kansas, in 1977, during the height of popularity for the television series about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood home. The show starred Michael Landon and Melissa Gilbert. Wilder spent a year at the site with her family in 1869.

After four decades of weathering, the now deteriorating recreation will get a makeover by sibling owners Bill Kurtis and Jean Schodorf. They want to rebuild the home and add a barn. “We will be using any of the materials that are salvageable for the new cabin,” Schodorf said of the project. “But really, that may be just the windows, floor, and maybe the fireplace chimney.”

The Kurtis family inherited the land, and discovered that it was the site of the famed Little House on the Prairie novels in 1968. “We have been cleared for zoning and an environmental study that had to be done — all the modern regulations,” Schodorf said. “We’ve jumped through all the modern hoops and paid for an architectural study and signage and two sculptures.” She also says that more than 20,000 people visit the site each year, but the inside had to be cut off from visitation due to the weakening logs.

The owners need about $50,000 to pay the craftsmen to complete the job, and have thus far raised nearly $30,000. “Now we are hoping to get craftsmen who are knowledgeable on building cabins,” Schodorf said. “After that, we are hoping we will have volunteers who are knowledgeable of Kansas history and have strong backs to lift logs [to]… help us build the cabin walls.”

The construction is scheduled for October and November.

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