The adventures of the Ingalls Family continue in Season Six of “Little House on the Prairie.” The original episodes of Season Six aired from September 17, 1979, to May 12, 1980. Season after season, these heart-warming stories continue to capture the attention of fans around the world.

Season six brings new characters that we grow to love. Almanzo Wilder comes to Walnut Grove with his sister Eliza-Jane, the new schoolteacher. The Ingalls decide to adopt Albert, Nels is reunited with his estranged sister, Albert and a friend accidentally set fire to the blind school, and so much more!

Season 6, Episode 1 – Back to School Pt. 1

Description:

>As the new school year begins, Nellie receives a shocking graduation present from her mother. Caroline takes a job at the restaurant when Charles is injured and unable to work.

Fun Fact!

This two-part episode is one of Dean Butler’s (Almanzo Wilder) all-time favorites.

Did you know?

In this episode, Eliza Jane Wilder tells Laura that there is no age restriction for teachers. However, in the episode “Sweet Sixteen,” Eliza Jane and the Superintendent talk about 16 being the required age to teach.

More Trivia!

The scene where Almanzo drives past Laura in his buckboard and offers to give her a ride was the very first scene that actor Dean Butler shot.

Season 6, Episode 2 – Back to School Pt. 2

Description:

Laura decides that becoming a teacher will convince everyone how mature she is, but first, she must pass the graduation exam. She does receive an unexpected offer of help, but in the end, it might just ruin everything.

Fun Fact!

This is the second time in the series that Laura is forced to humble herself to Nellie Oleson and apologize to her. The first time was in Season 5’s “Fagin.” However, in this episode, Laura is clearly the one at fault. She did something to Nellie when Nellie hadn’t done anything to her at that exact time. This wasn’t the case in “Fagin,” when Nellie had it coming.

Season 6, Episode 3 – Family Tree

Description:

Albert finds himself unsure of his identity when Miss Wilder assigns the students a family tree project. The trouble is, just as the Ingalls are getting ready to adopt him officially, Albert’s long-estranged biological father shows up and demands custody of him.

Fun Fact!

Look closely at the Wilder “family tree” posted on the blackboard by Miss Wilder in the opening scene. The name of her and Almanzo’s younger brother is misspelled. It should be Perley, not Parley.

Did you know?

In the flashback scenes, when Albert is portrayed suffering at the hands of his abuser at the orphanage, he looks exactly the same as he does in the present time, and much older than he was when the Ingalls first met him and took him back to Walnut Grove. This was unavoidable due to the order in which they shot the episodes.

More Trivia!

When Albert wakes up yelling from his nightmare, his face is full of sweat. However, seconds later, when Charles comes up, Albert is not nearly as sweaty.

Season 6, Episode 4 – Third Miracle

Description:

During a trip to a teaching awards ceremony in Minneapolis, the stagecoach that Adam, Mary, and a pregnant woman named Marge are riding in, is involved in an accident. Mary is the only one who can free herself and is left to rely on her wits to find help.

Fun Fact!

The viewer is treated to a mini-geography lesson in this episode, as the names of many towns close enough to Walnut Grove to have Stagecoach service within the day’s drive are mentioned: Sleepy Eye, Tracy, Harlan, Sanborn, and New Ulm, among others.

Did you know?

Actor Linwood Boomer (Adam) must have moved around between takes after the stagecoach accident scene. Initially, he’s “pinned” underneath it up to his pelvis, but in the next scene, after Mary leaves to go for help, the stagecoach just covers him to the top of his knees.

More Trivia!

Before Mary leaves the scene of the stagecoach accident to find help, she tells Adam, “I’ll leave the canteen for you and Marge.” Adam is lying on the ground with his legs pinned underneath the coach, and Marge is stuck inside of it. Neither of them could move, and the roof of the coach created a virtual wall between them. Reaching each other to share the canteen, therefore, was impossible.

Season 6, Episode 5 – Annabelle

Description:

A circus act passes through Walnut Grove, and Nels Oleson is horrified when he spots his estranged sister Annabelle as “the fat lady.” Embarrassed by her physical appearance, Nels denies any relation to her.

Fun Fact!

Charles is sitting with Mary, Adam, and some of the blind children at the circus, kind of giving them the play-by-play. The first time that one clown is about to douse another with a bucket of water, we hear Charles shout, “Lookout. He’s right in front of you!” It’s clearly Landon’s voice, but his lips aren’t moving.

Did you know?

Right after Nels publicly announces Annabelle as his sister and gives her a huge hug, there is a shot of Harriet looking shocked and embarrassed, then Nellie and Willie standing up and cheering loudly. They clearly appear very happy about what they are seeing, but because Nellie is so much like her mother when it comes to things like this, you’d think she would be embarrassed by her father’s actions, also.

More Trivia!

Nels was a little out of character here because he’s always been a kind man, and for him to shun his sister is not like him, especially since he’s married to a difficult woman like Harriet.

Season 6, Episode 6 – Preacher Takes a Wife

Description:

Reverend Alden begins spending time with the kindly Anna Craig, and the Reverend’s spirit is truly glowing as he discovers romance for the very first time in his life. Just as he is about to propose, an unexpected turn of events prompts Anna to break things off.

Fun Fact!

We learn in this episode that Reverend Alden’s first name is Robert.

Did you know?

William Schallert (Dean Harmon) later went on to appear in Michael Landon’s successful series “Highway to Heaven,” which began as soon as “Little House on the Prairie” ended. In that show, Schallert appeared in Season 4, in the two-part episode “Man’s Best Friend.” And even more, interestingly, he portrayed the father of actor Stan Ivar, who played John Carter in Season 9 of “Little House on the Prairie.”

More Trivia!

It is clear that the inside of Anna’s home is the same house that Almanzo’s girlfriend Christy lived in during the episode “Annabelle,” which aired right before this episode. More than that, they used the same sets for Almanzo’s home, and anyone who watches this show regularly will instantly notice that.
Season 6, Episode 7 – Halloween Dream

Description:

On Halloween, Albert has a dream where a rogue Indian tribe kidnaps him and Laura after they are mistaken for members of a rival tribe.

Fun Fact!

While “Chief Kilowatt” was in Albert’s dream, it’s highly unlikely Albert would be familiar with the term. The British Association first adopted it for the Advancement of Science in 1882, less than a decade before the approximate date in which the episode took place. Rural electrification in Minnesota only began in 1925.

Did you know?

Albert has two stripes across his face. One of them is black. The other one starts out as yellow. A short while into the episode, it turns to orange. Towards the end of the episode, it turns back to yellow.

More Trivia!

If you look closely, you can see two sets of reins when Albert is driving the wagon. One set Albert has. The other goes into the wagon.

Season 6, Episode 8 – Return of Mr. Edwards

Description:

When Isaiah Edwards loses his will to live after a crippling logging accident, a letter to Walnut Grove from his worried wife, Grace, brings Charles and Laura back to the big woods to try to help their old friend.

Favorite Quote!

“Mr. Edwards (talking with Laura for the first time in almost three years): Look at you there, still wearing them braids. When are you gonna put your hair up?
(Laura shrugs her shoulders)
Mr. Edwards: Hey, wait a minute here now. Wait just a minute. You got yourself a beau. You got a beau sparking you?
(Laura tries not to laugh)
Mr. Edwards: Huh? Do you? I found you out, didn’t I, huh? Anybody special?
Laura: Not really. Nobody’s special as you.
Mr. Edwards: Well, I’ve always been a modest man, but you’ve gotta admit there ain’t many like me.”

Fun Fact!

A shocking scene from this episode finds Charles slapping Laura in the face – an action that we have never seen Charles take before with his children. Even though he tried his best to justify it later, it’s still a shock to watch.

Season 6, Episode 9 – The King is Dead

Description:

Jonathan Garvey is tricked into believing that he is a good wrestler in order to scam the local residents of Walnut Grove, who stand to lose a lot of money on the rigged match. Mrs. Oleson is betting heavily too – with the church funds – for which she is treasurer.

Fun Fact!

Years later, there would be a man by the name of Jimmy Hart, who became famous in the 1980s as a rulebreaking professional wrestling manager in the World Wrestling Federation. And yes, Jimmy Hart was his real name (he was a member of the 1960s rock group The Gentrys and has composed much of the soundtrack for the WWF’s (now World Wrestling Entertainment) programs.

Favorite Quote!

“Harriet: (laughing loudly after betting all the church’s money on the wrestling match) I feel like Joan of Arc, carrying the cross into battle!
Nels: Well, if Jonathan loses, you’re really going to feel like Joan of Arc…when Walnut Grove burns you at the stake!”

Season 6, Episode 10 – Faith Healer

Description:

Reverend Edward Danford, a preacher and “faith healer,” comes to Walnut Grove with his fascinating concept of overcoming all physical adversities with pure faith in God. As his popularity increases, he decides to stay in town permanently.

Fun Fact!

The plot of this episode is somewhat similar to Season 1’s “The Circus Man,” where a man comes to town and convinces everyone that his special powders will cure any illness. Coincidentally, Harriet Oleson develops appendicitis in that episode, just as the child does this time around.

Did you know?

If someone had thought to have Mary, Adam, and every student in the blind school come to Reverend Danforth’s “healing” service so he could cure them of their blindness, the result would be either them being able to see or proving to everyone that Reverend Danforth is not a faith healer.

More Trivia!

For the young appendicitis-stricken boy in this episode, Doc Baker says he isn’t sure of the diagnosis and is not capable of the surgery. Hence, he tells the boy’s father to go to a hospital in Mankato. However, in Season 1’s “The Circus Man,” Doc Baker performs an appendectomy on Mrs. Oleson all by himself, without a second thought.

Season 6, Episode 11 – Author, Author

Description:

When Mary becomes pregnant again, Caroline’s parents arrange a visit to witness the birth of their great-grandchild. Unfortunately, when her mother dies en route, Caroline is left to deal with her father, Frederick, whose world now feels empty and meaningless.

Fun Fact!

Albert and Laura manage to help raise money for their grandpa by posing as poor orphans in another town, and it is Albert who leads Laura through the whole thing and pulls it off. Laura tries something similar to this in Season 2’s “The Gift,” but she fails miserably. If only she had known Albert then!

Did you know?

Andy and Albert use the same story in Season 5’s “Men Will Be Boys,” to stay at a boarding house for free that Albert and Laura use to raise money for their grandpa in this episode.

More Trivia!

Caroline’s father reacts to his wife’s death in very much the same way that Charles’ father does with his own wife’s death in Season 3’s “Journey in the Spring.” In both cases, the men are devastated and do not want to go on living, and they are pulled out of their depression by one of the Ingalls children.

Season 6, Episode 12 – Crossed Connection

Description:

A telephone line is set up in Walnut Grove, which enthralls almost everyone in town. Unfortunately, Harriet Oleson is in charge of the switchboard, which allows her to eavesdrop on as many conversations as she wants.

Fun Fact!

The telephone was invented in 1876. This episode takes place in the late 1870s. Small towns and rural areas would not have a phone for several more years. The writers prematurely added it to the show for dramatic effect.

Did you know?

The outside of the house that Alice Garvey’s mother lives in looks exactly like the outside of the Harper house in Season 5’s “Someone Please Love Me.”

More Trivia!

In the final scene, when Jonathan starts walking toward the telephone pole, you’ll notice that his collar is all messed up in the back. However, in the next shot, when he is shaking the pole furiously to knock it down, his collar is perfectly placed!
Season 6, Episode 13 – Angry Heart

Description:

A boy named Todd spent much of his childhood being beaten by his alcoholic father. Now Todd is an angry teenager who arrives in Walnut Grove to spend time with his grandparents. He quickly runs into trouble and even lands in jail after stealing.

Fun Fact!

The actress who plays Virginia Davenport also plays Lou’s mother in Season 9 Episode 5, “Little Lou.”

Did you know?

In this episode, Charles drives from Walnut Grove to Mankato and back on the same day, two days in a row. This would seem impossible since, in reality, the two towns are 74 miles apart. Also, in at least one earlier episode, Charles states that the round trip to Mankato takes about three days.

More Trivia!

After Charles has gone to the Davenports’ house, and the rest of the Ingalls have gone to church, we see them enter, but where is Grace? The youngest can’t have been left at home. She isn’t seen in the wagon, either. The Ingalls usually take her with them to church, so this is strange.

Season 6, Episode 14 – The Werewolf of Walnut Grove

Description:

School bully Bart begins menacing his classmates, especially Albert. Tired of the constant harassment, Albert creates a paper maché werewolf mask to terrorize Bart into ceasing his bullying behavior. It works until Carrie opens her mouth!

Fun Fact!

For the first time in this episode, we hear Almanzo’s full name. Eliza Jane calls him “Almanzo James Wilder” as he’s about to storm out of his house after learning that his sister has been bullied by one of her students.

Did you know?

Eliza Jane is the first Walnut Grove teacher to encounter a serious, job-threatening issue with a student since Miss Beadle in Season 2’s “Troublemaker.”

More Trivia!

When Laura and Albert are working on the big rock to scare Bart, Caroline and baby Grace come out to see how they’re doing. Notice that Grace has some kind of pants underneath her prairie dress, and they look almost like flannel pajama bottoms, which did not exist back then.

Season 6, Episode 15 – Whatever Happened to Class of ’56

Description:

Charles and Caroline take a trip to Milwaukee for a school reunion. Although they are both excited to mingle with old friends, they are disappointed to learn what has become of their former classmates.

Fun Fact!

The graduates in the “Class of ’56”, twenty-five years later, would have been about forty years old. Many of the actors hired to play the alumnus in this episode appear to be between 50 and 60 years old.

Did you know?

Charles and Caroline supposedly graduated from school. However, Laura mentions in “Back to School, Part 2” that Charles dropped out of school at age 12 to be the “man of the house” and help support the family.

More Trivia!

Surprisingly, Charles would want to represent Walnut Grove at the Grange convention again after his experience in Season 4’s “Times of Change.” He seemed thoroughly disgusted with the corruption and vice he witnessed there, and because Charles is a man of principle, it’s surprising that he goes back.

Season 6, Episode 16 – Darkness is my Friend

Description:

On a dark and stormy night, Laura is sleeping over at the blind school and spending some quality time with Mary. Trouble strikes when they open the door for a trio of escaped convicts, who threaten their lives and all the children in the school.

Fun Fact!

While Nellie is playing the piano during the second scene in the Oleson’s’ living room, she’s trying to play “Home on the Range.” This is the same song that Mrs. Oleson sings drunkenly during Season 4’s “To Run and Hide.”

Did you know?

During this episode, Mary and Laura share fond memories from two episodes that aired during the second season of the series: “The Campout” and “The Gift.”

More Trivia!

Toni Mele, a real-life blind child who makes her only appearance as Kim in this episode, was invited by Michael Landon himself to appear on the show after she wrote a heartfelt fan letter to him.

Season 6, Episode 17 – Silent Promise

Description:

Eager to sharpen her teaching skills and seem more grown-up, Laura volunteers to tutor a deaf teenager named Daniel, whose widowed father doesn’t hold much hope for his son’s learning abilities.

Fun Fact!

Either this episode covered a very long period of time, or Laura managed to teach sign language to Daniel extremely quickly. While it’s natural for people to learn basic conversational signs, like “Hello,” “How are you?” and “How much does that cost?” relatively fast, it can take several years to talk back and forth in the magnitude that the characters did here.

Did you know?

In this episode, Melissa Gilbert’s character Laura takes on the job of teaching a deaf student. A year earlier, she starred opposite Patty Duke in a film version of “The Miracle Worker,” where Gilbert played deaf and blind child Helen Keller.

Favorite Quote!

“Laura Ingalls: I’m going to stop by the Wilder place and tell Miss Wilder all about it.
Charles Ingalls: You’re gonna tell MISS Wilder.
Laura Ingalls: Yeah.
Charles Ingalls: You could do that in school on Monday.
Laura Ingalls: I know.
Charles Ingalls: I wonder if Almanzo is going to be there.
Laura Ingalls: I wouldn’t know.
Charles Ingalls: Well, what difference does that make anyway? Why would you want to go all the way over there to tell Almanzo you’re a grown-up teacher lady for?”

Season 6, Episode 18 – May We Make Them Proud Pt. 1

Description:

Albert’s carelessness results in a tragic accident that leaves Alice Garvey and Mary’s baby son dead. As families are torn apart, and faith in God is tested, it is sure to be an emotional road to recovery for everyone involved.

Fun Fact!

This is the third consecutive season to have an episode where the Garveys are devastated by a fire (and of course, this episode has the saddest ending). Season 4’s “The High Cost of Being Right” and Season 5’s “Barn Burner” presented similar trials for this family.

Did you know?

Ted Voightlander was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a Series for this episode.

More Trivia!

With Albert’s pipe-smoking incident, it was implied that it was the first time he tried smoking a pipe. His first time smoking a pipe was actually in the episode “Blind Journey,” when his face turned green as a result.
Season 6, Episode 19 – May We Make Them Proud Pt. 2

Description:

Albert, Mary, and Jonathan, all deeply impacted by the fire at the School for the Blind, continue to deal with their emotions. Albert, racked with guilt, runs away, leading Charles and Jonathan to conduct a frantic search for him.

Fun Fact!

Actor John Zaremba (Judge Adams) appeared in literally hundreds of TV broadcasts during his fifty-year career. In shows where he played a regular cast member, he almost always portrayed a doctor. He was Dr. Chaff on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” the Medical Examiner on “Perry Mason,” Dr. Jensen in “Ben Casey,” Dr. Swain in “Time Tunnel,” and in his final recurring role, Dr. Danvers, in “Dallas.”

Did you know?

The poem that Albert reads to Mary is the first sonnet in the acclaimed collection “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

More Trivia!

Actress Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) credits this as one of her favorite episodes. “It was great fun playing with fire and getting to act up a storm,” Parady once said. “And what a way to go!” Parady has even been known to re-enact her final, dramatic scene at some cast reunions.

Season 6, Episode 20 – Wilder and Wilder

Description:

Almanzo and Eliza Jane are pleasantly surprised to get a visit from their kid brother Perley Day, but after a few days with him, they quickly remember why the boy has been so estranged from the family over the years.

Fun Fact!

There is a scene in which Almanzo is hitching up his horse outside his home. You can clearly see his shadow along the ground (which is fine), but then his shadow climbs up a backdrop (which is painted to look like a tree on a hillside).

Did you know?

Watch for an unintentionally hilarious moment near the end of the episode, when Almanzo punches Perley Day and knocks him down. There is a very loud (and obviously fake) punching sound, and Perley just kind of falls slowly and gracefully to the ground. If Almanzo really had hit him that hard, there’s no way he would have gone down so slowly. Also, Perley would have been bleeding, which he clearly wasn’t.

More Trivia!

Notice that when Penelope slaps Andy Garvey in the face and says, “And how do you like that?” it is taking everything within her to keep a straight face, and though she succeeds, you can tell she’s fighting it. Then, when Andy throws the watermelon in her face, you can see Penelope laughing when she is supposed to be angry.

Season 6, Episode 21 – Second Spring

Description:

Nels finally loses patience with his henpecked family life and begins a mobile merchant business. During one of his stops, he meets a much younger woman who is the exact opposite of his own wife. In the process, Nels struggles with temptation and going astray as the relationship blossoms.

Fun Fact!

The soundtrack was written for this episode, “The Wearin’ O’ The Green” Irish Ballad, sung by Suzanne Rogers, is almost note for note the same as the Irish music composed for Season 1’s “The Circus Man.”

Did you know?

Molly, the B and B owner, uses the phrase “Let’s trip the light fantastic.” This phrase was not used until 1894 in the song “Sidewalks of New York” by Charles B. Lawlor and James W. Blake. Molly uses it roughly 12 years before it was written.

Favorite Quote!

“Harriet Oleson: Well, he’s my son too! More so!
Nels Oleson: How do you figure that?
Harriet Oleson: I bore him!
Nels Oleson: Well, you bore me too, but that doesn’t make you my mother!”
Season 6, Episode 22 – Sweet Sixteen

Description:

When a school in a nearby town is in need of a temporary substitute, 15-year-old Laura finally gets her start as a teacher. As she grows and learns in her career, she also starts gaining the kind of attention she always wanted from Almanzo.

Fun Fact!

In the TV show, Laura wants to be a teacher as a way to impress Almanzo and show that she is more grown-up, and before she meets Almanzo, she wants to do it to emulate her older sister Mary. However, the real Laura Ingalls Wilder started teaching so she could contribute financially and help keep Mary enrolled at the Iowa College of the Blind. This was all detailed in Wilder’s seventh book, Little Town on the Prairie.

Did you know?

When the Ingalls family first walks into the social, there are a few seconds of footage of them looking around the room at all the couples. Towards the end of this scene, a teenage girl in a purple dress looks directly at the camera for a moment.

More Trivia!

Laura and Almanzo share their first kiss in this episode. In an interview, Dean Butler states that everybody was so nerve-wracked for this pivotal scene that there were chaperones on the set to make sure nothing “unseemly” was going on. Melissa Gilbert’s mother was also allegedly crying, “My baby! My baby!” from the sidelines so hysterically that she had to be consoled.

Season 6, Episode 23 – He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Pt. 1

Description:

Almanzo gives Laura a painful ultimatum: either run away with him now or forget the relationship altogether. Harriet Oleson wants Nellie to be trained to take over the restaurant, but the hiring of Percival Dalton creates more mayhem than anyone imagines.

Fun Fact!

Although the scene where Nellie goes to apologize to Percival is supposed to take place right after he dumps the eggs on her, the scene was filmed on a different day. Therefore, Alison Arngrim (playing Nellie) had to go through quite a procedure to make herself look exactly as she did in the previous scene. Her wig was covered in egg, the shells had to be placed exactly where they had been on her head, and a paintbrush was used to spread the egg yolk all over her clothes.

Did you know?

The real Laura Ingalls Wilder did marry when she was 18. However, it was not due to any restriction set by her father, as portrayed in the TV series. In reality, Almanzo courted her from ages 15 to 17. After he proposed, they had to wait a year for him to build a house and take care of some other business.

More Trivia!

This episode marks the second time that a member of the Oleson family gets a bowl of eggs dumped on their head during an argument (see also Season 1’s “Family Quarrel“).

Season 6, Episode 24 – He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not Pt. 2

Description:

To keep her mind off Almanzo’s extended absence, Laura pitches in with Mary and Adam’s new blind school in Sleepy Eye. Meanwhile, in an attempt to conceal a secret from Laura and her family, Almanzo falls dangerously ill.

Fun Fact!

Look very closely at the expression on Nellie’s face when Percival says, “Now for the honeymoon!” at the end of the episode. You have to really watch because they only show her face for a second.

Did you know?

In the last scene, baby Grace has quite an adorable kissing scene with another little boy. Some fans may be surprised to learn that the real Grace Ingalls met and married a 42-year-old man, Nate Dow when she herself was only 24!

More Trivia!

The song that Houston plays on his harmonica in the scene where Almanzo brings him the rent money is the theme music from the end credits of the show.

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Little House on the Prairie – Complete Series DVD

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