PEPIN, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Fans of Little House on the Prairie came from all over the country to meet Dean Butler at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in Pepin. Lifelong fan of the show, Julie Detlefsen, says, “He was really nice. A great smile. Still the same smile from the TV show.”

Butler played Almanzo James Wilder on the hit show and says he’s still feeling the love after all these years, “You know, it’s been really nice to have so many people come out and experience Laura Ingalls Wilder days. people come from all around 4 hours away to come and be a part of these things. Being a part of Little House on the Prairie for all of these years has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. There’s no question about it.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days is an annual event celebrating the author and the impact her Little House books made. Sue Fedie, the outgoing museum director, says she was excited to bring a celebrity in for the event. “It’s been a lot of organization and coordination, but it’s just turned out wonderfully for us. We’re honored to have Mr. Butler here. He is absolutely exceptional gentleman. He does a lot to spread the word about Laura and Almanzo Wilder. And we’re happy to have him here.”

Detlefsen is using this opportunity to show her children the world of Laura Ingalls Wilder. “This is a tradition for our family. She explains, “We’ve been coming for 28 years, and so I came when I was a five- or six-year-old and now my daughter’s four and she’s here. And so, it’s really fun to carry on this tradition and just celebrate a time in our country’s history.”

Celebrating this time in history and the impact of the show. Butler explains, “Michael Landon said to all of us that people would be watching Little House long after we’re all gone. You know, when I first heard that at the age of 25, I don’t know that I really believed it. Now, at 67, I absolutely believe that people will be watching and loving Little House long after we’re all gone. I know that when I breathe my last breath, the first line in my in whatever obituary is written about me will include the Little House on the Prairie. And I will be very proud of that.”

Fans visiting Dean Butler were able to pay for an autograph and take a picture. They were also given half off the admission price for the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.