Nauvoo Things to Do

  • Late sun shining on the restored LDS Temple
    Late sun shining on the restored LDS...
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Most Recent Things to Do in Nauvoo

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    JOHN TAYLOR HOUSE

    by mtncorg Updated Jan 24, 2008

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    John Taylor was an early English convert. The conversion of English members was very important to the huge influx of Mormons in to Nauvoo. This brick house, one of the earliest brick homes in Nauvoo, was occupied by Taylor and his family, in 1845, when he served in the attached Printing Office as editor for Church periodicals. The woodwork and floors are original and some of the furnishings were actually owned by the Taylor family. John Taylor moved to Utah where he was to become the third President of the LDS Church - probably much to Brigham Young's chagrin, but that is another story.

    John Taylor family house in Nauvoo
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    CARTHAGE JAIL

    by mtncorg Updated Oct 4, 2004

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    Upper level dissenting Mormon leaders broke with Joseph Smith Jr over his revelations concerning polygamy. Smith had kept the concept secret within the top ranks of the Mormon hierarchy. The dissenters printed a tell-all newspaper and their printing press was destroyed at Smith’s orders. This act inflamed Smith’s enemies – he had many – in and especially outside Nauvoo. Riots ensued and to try and calm the situation, Illinois governor Thomas Ford promised Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum protection if they would submit to arrest for charges of instigating a riot. They did so and rode to the county seat at Carthage, where they were to be tried. Three days after their arrival, on 27 June, 1844, an anti-Mormon group charged the jail at Carthage and succeeded in killing both Joseph and Hyrum. John Taylor was also wounded four times but managed to survive. The Jail was built in 139-40 and later became a private house until it was sold to the LDS Church in 1903.

    Hours of operation: Summer - Monday through Saturday 8:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
    Sunday 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
    Winter - Monday through Saturday 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Sunday 12:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M

    Carthage is about 25 miles southeast of Nauvoo, the first 15 miles are very pretty along the Mississippi River. A couple blocks from the Jail is the city square, a National Historic Site in its own right. The Hancock County Courthouse stands tall in the middle of the square.

    Joseph and Hyrum Smith stand outside Carthage Jail
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    SCHOOLHOUSE/BRICKYARD

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Not only was this log cabin home to the Calvin Pendleton family, but also served as a school from which he taught reading, writing and arithmetic to children. Next door, volunteers will demonstrate how bricks were made and something about the role of bricks in Nauvoo.

    Pendleton log home and schoolhouse
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    PRINTING OFFICE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    A restoration of the original 1840’s building, the Printing Office is part of three contiguous buildings – this building, John Taylor’s home and the Post Office. You can learn – from volunteers – more about what exactly was involved with mid 19th century publishing.

    The Mormon Printing Office on Main Street - Nauvoo
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    BROWNING HOME AND GUNSHOP

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Jonathan Browning bought this house in 1843, building on a gun and blacksmith shop. From these humble beginnings, Browning went on to for one of the larger firearm companies of the World. Period guns are on display within. He and his family left in 1846 with the Brigham Young led move to Utah, ending up in Ogden, Utah.

    For more on the gun company history: http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/b/BROWNING%2CARMS.html and www.gunsinfo.org/HistBrowning.html

    Home and gunshop of Jonathan Browning
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    TRAIL OF HOPE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    From the Seventies House towards the river along Parley Street are several monuments laid out which recount poignant personal journey entries of different Mormon pioneers regarding their journey west during the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo to Utah.

    Trail of Hope going west down Parley Street
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    SEVENTIES HALL

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Within the Mormon Church, the group of men responsible for the missionary effort of the Church, are the Seventies. Proselytizing has always been a major effort of the Church and remains so today. This building, built in 1844, served as their headquarters. It was also a lecture hall, place for worship services and a library.

    The Seventies Hall on Parley Street
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    CULTURAL AND MASONIC HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    A regular multipurpose building used for both church and business meetings, drama, music and Masonic lodge meetings. Many feel Joseph Smith Jr ‘borrowed’ from Masonic rites with some of his ‘revealed’ temple rites.

    A musical drama, ‘ Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo’, is performed by volunteers nightly during the year. You can get tickets – free – from the Nauvoo(LDS) Visitor Center.

    Cultural and Masonic Hall in Nauvoo
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    WILFORD WOODRUFF HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Wilford Woodruff finished this fine brick house in time to live within for about 100 days before joining the exodus to Utah. The house was continuously occupied afterwards until restoration began in 1962. Willford Woodruff, a main mover in the Mormon’s very successful mission in the Midlands of England, became the Church’s fourth President and officially ended polygamy in 1890 – as sanctioned by the official Church.

    Last hoome of Wilfor Woodruff in Nauvoo
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    BRIGHAM YOUNG HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Built in 1843-44, this house served Brigham, his wife and seven children. After Joseph Smith’s murder, this house became a planning center for the Mormon exodus to Utah – in 1846. Brigham Young became the second President in the LDS Church and is probably as important a figure among the LDS as Smith because he provided leadership and stability after the lost of the charismatic Joseph. Immensely practical, Young was what the movement needed for the trek to Utah and the trials that lie ahead in setting up anew in a totally new land.

    Brigham Young family home in Nauvoo
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    NAUVOO VISITORS CENTER - LDS

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    This is the Utah-LDS visitor’s center. A lot of information, artifacts and documents can be found within. Another audiovisual program presents Nauvoo’s history from their perspective. There are also horse cart rides that start from the north side of the parking lot and cover many of the sites within the old lower Nauvoo townsite.

    For people looking for possible Nauvoo ancestors, check: http://www.lds.org/placestovisit/location/0,10634,1851-1-1-1,00.html the Lands record office

    LDS Historic Nauvoo Visitors Center
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    RED BRICK STORE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Reconstructed in 1980 by the RLDS church – now Community of Christ – this general store was owned and operated by Joseph Smith Jr.. The first floor is a general store with goods representative of items that might have been for sale in 1842-44. The second floor housed Smith’s office and in front there was a large room, which served many church meetings. It was also in this room where the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge met until they built their own building in 1844.

    Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store
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    NAUVOO HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Church members, in 1841, were told they needed to build both a ‘House of God’ – the temple - and a ‘House of Man’ – a hotel. Neither was completed in Joseph’s lifetime. Only the foundation and first floor bricks were completed on the Nauvoo House before the 1846 exodus. Joseph’s wife, Emma, was remarried later to Thomas Bidamon who finished a smaller-scale hotel on the foundations in place. The hotel also served as the Bidamon home in their latter days.

    Nauvoo House - notice foundation for larger hotel
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    MANSION HOUSE

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    Begun in 1842, the Mansion House served as the new Smith home and it was expanded with a hotel wing in 1843. The original house has been restored, but not the hotel section. After their murder, it was in this house that the Mormon Faithful filed through to pay their last tributes to the two Smith brothers as the lay in state. Following the exodus of 1846, the home continued to be both a home for the Smith family – who elected not to follow Brigham Young to Utah – and a hotel which provided a living for the family.

    Ths Smith Mansion House in Nauvoo
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    JOSEPH SMITH HOMESTEAD

    by mtncorg Written Oct 4, 2004

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    This is the log cabin, which served as the first home for Joseph Smith Jr. and his family in Nauvoo – 1839. The original house was a simple blockhouse dating back to very early in the 19th century. One room, on the ground floor and another, above, in which to sleep. A dining area was added shortly after the family moved in to accommodate the many guests who wanted a bit of Joseph’s time. There is also a summer kitchen that served as a home for Joseph’s parents. Joseph’s son, Joseph III, made further additions in his days.

    Joseph Smith Homestead along the Mississippi River
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