This is the actual location where Little House on the Prairie was filmed.



Laura Ingalls Wilder immortalized pioneer life in the beloved book series that began with "Little House in the Big Woods" and later became a TV sensation with the long-running television series (1974–1982) named after a later book, "Little House on the Prairie." Generations of kids have grown up on her tales. The family-oriented television show not only elevated Michael Landon to even greater fame as a producer, director, and writer, but also propelled some of its young performers to stardom, Melissa Gilbert foremost among them.

 Years after it had ended, series like "When Calls the Heart," "Dawson's Creek," and even "Raised by Wolves" (via Yahoo! Entertainment) were influenced by it because of how wholesome it was.

Naturally, the television program was a little more dramatic than the stories Ingalls Wilder penned, which were based somewhat on her actual experiences. Because she and her family were homesteaders who lived on the outskirts of society in locations like Wisconsin (where the first novel is set), Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, and Missouri in the late 1800s, her books helped to create a true feeling of time and place.

The real-life author of "Little House on the Prairie" lived in Plum Creek, close to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, from 1874 to 1876. (per the official website). However, the needs of the entertainment business at the time didn't always make it possible for production to take place so far from Hollywood. So, where precisely did this NBC program get its start?

The majority of exterior scenes were shot in Simi Valley at Big Sky Movie Ranch.


In film history, California has frequently replaced exotic locales, and "Little House on the Prairie" was no exception.

The Big Sky Movie Ranch, located at 4927 Bennett Road in Simi Valley, was used to film the TV show's exterior scenes (via The Cinemaholic). The 7,000-acre ranch, which is within the 30-mile "studio zone" of Los Angeles, has used as the location for numerous Hollywood movies, including "Transformers," "Men in Black," and "Westworld" (via The Simi Valley Acorn). The ranch, which has been in operation for more than 40 years, is a part of a long-standing Hollywood tradition. In the past, movie ranches were the favoured locations for many Westerns and other large-scale productions that were difficult to replicate indoors.

Simi Valley can get very hot, with summertime highs in the 80s and 90s (via Weatherspark). The actor who played Nellie Oleson, Alison Armgrin, passed out during the first day of filming, according to the "Little House on the Prairie" Twitter account. But some other places, such as Red Hills Ranch in Sonora, California, Lake Sherwood, and Old Tuscon Studios in Tuscon, Arizona, were also used to film the exteriors of "Little House" (via The Cinemaholic). On the Paramount Studios lot, sound stages were used for interior filming (via Wide Open Country).


Unfortunately, the set has been destroyed by wildfires and thanks to Michael Landon.



Sadly, Walnut Grove's original buildings and structures are no longer standing. The decision by Landon, who is also the show's director, to demolish the set for the final TV movie, "The Last Farewell," is partially to blame for this. Dave Sundstrom asserts that this was either due to Landon's ire over the show's cancellation or the need for the show to restore the site to its pre-show state. As Laura Ingalls' portrayer Melissa Gilbert said in her autobiography, according to CheatSheet, Landon was enraged that no one at NBC had personally informed him of the show's demise. "When Mike felt disrespected, his rage flared. All the settings, including Walnut Grove, everything in Simi Valley, "She composed.

In the finale of the series, a robber baron bought up the town, and the locals decided to destroy their property rather than have it seized. When asked about the ending, Landon said to The New York Times, "I believe it makes for a really strong pioneer ending. For the cast and crew, it served as a pleasant catharsis as well. When we ultimately blew up the town, there were many sobs. It was really emotional since all of the players had grown very close to their individual buildings.

Any sets still standing were consumed by wildfires. The homestead set was destroyed by fire in 2003, according to the Ventura County Star, and The Sacramento Bee claimed that in 2019, a lightning strike fire destroyed what was left of the Ingalls family's prairie home. According to Ventura County Fire Department spokesman Scott Dettorre, "It's one of the last, if not the final, props from the set."


Source; looper.com

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