16 August 2009

Nauvoo the Beautiful!

Posted by stephyc under: Uncategorized .

On July 24, 2009 We drove from Kohler, Wisconsin to Nauvoo, Illinois.

Nauvoo Temple

Our first view of the Nauvoo Temple was from behind.

Nauvoo Temple close up

What an absolutely beautiful temple!  The view from the temple to the west is breathtaking!

Joseph and Hyrum Smith statue

Looking from the temple across the Mississippi River toward the west there is a statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

We traveled from the temple grounds to the Visitor’s Center.  Nikki instantly fell in love with all the beautiful flowers in the garden’s around the Visitor’s Center.  On the grounds is also an original Sunstone from the first Nauvoo Temple.

Nikki near original sunstone

Nikki near an original Nauvoo Temple Sunstone

The detail that went into making this stone is absolutely incredible!  I still can’t believe it was all done with hand tools!

In the Visitor’s Center the girls took a moment to view the Christus Statue.  Nikki sat for a minute or two and then moved on.  Lizzi just wanted to sit in front of this beautiful statue.

Nikki and Lizzi near the Christus

Nikki and Lizzi looking at the Christus Statue in the Nauvoo Visitors Center

I went to look at the miniature map of Nauvoo.

Nauvoo map

We decided to check into our hotel room before going to Carthage Jail.  Since our hotel was in Carthage we made the 20 minute drive along the Mississippi River to the south and then turned to the east toward Carthage.  Our hotel was just before the town of Carthage.  We check into the hotel and then headed to the Carthage Jail.  As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I have always heard about the Carthage Jail.  It is the place that Joseph and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred on 27 June 1844.   I knew walking in this sacred place would strengthen my testimony of Prophet Joseph.  I just never could comprehend how much.  My girls immediately took off to the statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and requested that I take pictures of them with the statue.

Lizzi and Nikki with Joseph and Hyrum statue in Carthage

Lizzi and Nikki with Joseph and Hyrum statue in Carthage

We watched a video about Joseph Smith.

Lizzi watching the Joseph Smith video

Lizzi, Nikki, Papa, and Grammy watching the Joseph Smith video

Lizzi, Nikki, Papa, and Grammy while watching the video.  We then proceeded on the tour of the jail.

Carthage Jail Summer Kitchen

We entered through the Summer Kitchen which is at the back of the house/jail.  You have to remember back in the 1840’s the jailer and his family lived in the jail.  We went into the kitchen, dining room, and then the parlor.  Then we went to the debtor’s cell which is on the main floor of the house/jail.

Papa Lizzi and Nikki in the Debters Cell in Carthage Jail

Papa, Lizzi, and Nikki in the debter's cell in Carthage Jail

Lizzi didn’t like it when we closed the door to debtor’s cell.  So she started crying!  As soon as we opened the door she was fine.

We then headed upstairs to the dungeon cell.  This is the room that Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, Willard Richards, and several other men were placed in on a hot summer afternoon.  The room is estimated to be as hot as 120+ degrees.  This is also the room where Willard Richards took John Taylor after the mobs left the jail.

Carthage Jail Dungeon Cell

John Taylor was placed beneath the straw which possibly saved his life by slowing the bleeding from his several gunshot wounds.

Carthage Jail straw pile

We then moved to the Jailer’s Bedroom.

Grammy Nikki Lizzi and Papa in the Jailers bedroom

Grammy, Nikki, Lizzi, and Papa in the Jailer's bedroom Carthage Jail

One can only imagine the many reasons for doing what he did, but the Jailer allowed these men to use his bedroom.  In this room is where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith lived out their last hours.  Joseph asked John Taylor to sing “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief.”  A little after 5pm on 27 June 1844 a mob entered the home/jail ran up the stairs and opened fire.  Hyrum died first.  John Taylor was shot several times.  Willard Richards was pinned between the wall and the door and miraculously escaped without injury.  The Prophet Joseph sealed his testimony with his blood in this little room in a small jail in Carthage, Illinois.  165 years later I had the opportunity to visit this historical place!  I am so grateful to a man who amid shame and scorn stood firm in his testimony!  I am moved by the love that I felt in that little room.  I’m not completely sure how you can feel so much love in a place of so much pain, but it’s possible!

carthage Jail door

This is the door to the Jailer’s bedroom.  You can see the holes where the shots were fired through the door.  One in the lock and the one in the middle which is the one that is believed to have taken the life of Hyrum Smith.

Nikki standing at Carthage window

Nikki standing at the window where Joseph lept from in Carthage Jail

My oldest daughter Nikki looking out the window where the Prophet Joseph leaped to his death.  It is a very somber place to visit.  However, like I said before it is a place of love.  I felt God’s love for me there.  I felt the love of my Savior there.  I felt the love that Joseph had for his brother Hyrum there.  I felt the love that Hyrum had for Joseph there.  I felt the love that Joseph had for his fellow man there.  I know that my Heavenly Father loves me!  I know that my Savior gave his life for me.  And now I know that Joseph and Hyrum Smith gave their lives to show the love that they had for all mankind.  The kind of love that can only come through the peace of knowing that God has a plan for each of us.  The same love that Jesus Christ showed when he willingly gave his life for us.

Mommy Lizzi and Nikki at Carthage Jail

Mommy, Lizzi, and Nikki at Carthage Jail

The girls and I in front of a statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and the Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois.

After our tour of the Carthage Jail we took the kids to a playground to run and play.

Carthage playground

From the playground I got this photo of the Courthouse Dome.

carthage courthouse dome

We went to dinner and then back to our hotel room for the night.  We were all very tired from the long road trip!

On Saturday 25 July 2009 Mom and I woke-up early so we could get tickets to ride one of the wagons.  We made the short trip from Carthage to Nauvoo and went directly to get tickets for the wagon ride.  It’s a good thing we did, because at 8:15 nearly all of the rides were full!  We got tickets for a wagon ride and a carriage ride.

We then drove past the temple.  Mom told me she wanted to share something with me while it was still quiet.  We drove down Parley Street together.  This is the street where the Mormon Pioneers lined up to cross the Mississippi River.  This is called the Trail of Hope.

Trail of Hope

One of the many reasons I need to return to Nauvoo…

We didn’t get out of the car to walk it, because we didn’t have much time.  I got really emotional just driving down this small stretch of road.  One can only imagine what it would be like walking it!

Nauvoo Trail of Hope

We then drove to the river’s edge.  This is the place where many Mormon pioneers crossed into Iowa on their trek westward!

nauvoo mississippi river crossing

As we were getting ready to leave this man asked if he could sing a song for us.  Chuck sang “Parley Street” which is a moving song about moving westward away from home.

Nauvoo Parley Street singer

It was an absolutely beautiful song!  I’m so glad I was able to listen to it!

We drove near the banks of the Mississippi River and saw all the beautiful lilies and heather growing nearby!

nauvoo lilies and heather on mississippi river

Rather than driving back to Carthage and back to Nauvoo…I opted to stay in Nauvoo and take in as much as I could while everyone else finished getting ready.  Mom dropped me off on Main Street and I started walking around taking pictures.

Nauvoo Riser Boot Shop

George C. Riser Boot Shop

Vinson Knight home

Vinson Knight home

Most of the homes were in ruins when they decided to restore Nauvoo.  When they found a foundation they were able to tell what style home it was based on the shape of the foundation.  Some of the homes have been rebuilt using the original bricks.

nauvoo building

Many of the homes in Nauvoo are private residences, but there are some that you can tour.  My first stop was at the Calvin Pendleton Home and School on Kimball Street.

Calvin Pendleton Home and School

Calvin Pendleton Home and School

I was given a tour of this little home and school.  During the 1840’s the school’s taught phonics.  Everything was written the way it sounds.  So instead of writing of they would write uv as depicted in this photo:

Nauvoo school room

The school used slates for school work.

nauvoo slate board

Books were very important in school houses in those days.  They didn’t have very many books.

Nauvoo books

I love that the missionaries who give the tours in Nauvoo are in period costume.

Sister Bard and Elder Hall

Sister Bard gave me a tour of the Pendleton Home and School and Elder Hall was waiting outside when we finished. I loved this picture and had to take it!

I continued walking down Kimball Street to the corner of Hyde Street to the Lucy Mack Smith Home.

nauvoo Lucy Mack Smith home outside

I was so excited to see this home.  Lucy Mack Smith is the Prophet Joseph’s Mother.  She was a small woman, but from all the reading I have done she was very strong and everyone respected her!  She was a woman of strong faith and testimony.  She lived through many personal tragedies which included the loss of her husband and four of her sons in a four year span.

Nauvoo Lucy Mack Smith Home inside

Inside the home was a beautiful china set that had belonged to Lucy Mack Smith’s sister. I’m under the impression that Lucy’s sister gave it to her when Lucy married Joseph Smith Sr.  There was only one dish of the set missing!  I got a tour of the upstairs of the home which includes a very steep staircase.  I was then allowed to tour the backyard.  It was so quiet and peaceful here.

Nauvoo Lucy Mack Smith home backyard

I continued down Hyde Street toward Parley Street.  On the corner I saw the Nathaniel Ashby and Erastus Snow duplex.

Duplex shared by the Nathaniel Ashby and Erastus Snow families

Duplex shared by the Nathaniel Ashby and Erastus Snow families

Across from the Ashby/Snow duplex is the Joseph Coolidge Home.  On the top of this house is writing in German.

Joseph Coolidge Home

Joseph Coolidge Home

Here is a close-up of the German writing…

Nauvoo German writing on home

German writing

Newel K. Whitney Home

Newel K. Whitney Home

Samuel Williams Home

Samuel Williams Home

I turned east on Parley Street and turned to the north on Partridge Street passing the Land and Records Office. I proceeded to Munson Street and the home of Heber C. Kimball.

Heber C. Kimball Home

Heber C. Kimball Home

When this home was restored one of Heber C. Kimball’s grandsons was instrumental in making sure this home had all the finest things in it.  Included in this picture is a mantle clock that was one of Heber C. Kimball’s.

Nauvoo Kimball living room

Also included in the home is a Mozart Era Baby Grand Piano.

Nauvoo Kimball baby grand

In the Heber C. Kimball house you will see a drum and a chair that belonged to William Clayton author of “Come, Come Ye Saints.”

Sister May on the Heber C. Kimball porch

Sister May on the Heber C. Kimball porch

Sister May is the one who gave me a tour of the Heber C. Kimball Home.  As I was leaving she saw me out the door and I loved the welcoming feel that it gave me.  In addition to giving me the tour she was so nice and let me have some masking tape to save our seats at the pageant.  She didn’t care if I brought it back to her or not, but I returned the tape shortly after saving our seats!  Thank you again Sister May!!!

I proceeded with my journey by going east on Munson Street.  At Durphy Street I turned north…

Winslow Farr Home

Winslow Farr Home

Passing the Winslow Farr home I continued toward the Wilford Woodruff Home.

Nauvoo Woodruff Home

The story was told of how while Wilford Woodruff was serving his mission in England he decided he never wanted to be cold again.  Upon returning home he built this home which includes 8 fireplaces.

Wilford Woodruff Portrait in Nauvoo Home

Wilford Woodruff Portrait in Nauvoo Home

Here is a picture of one of the fireplaces.  On the mantle are figurines that actually belonged to Wilford Woodruff.  I loved the look of the bustle oven in the kitchen and funniest thing there is also a fireplace in the kitchen too.  When I left this beautiful home I turned west on Hotchkiss Street.  I walked to the William Field Cabin on the corner of Hotchkiss and Hyde Streets.

(can’t post pictures anymore…I will have to try again later!  Finally got it working again!)

nauvoo prairie grass demo

I then turned north toward the Pageant grounds to save seats for our group for the show.  I went north on Hyde (passing the Prairie Grass Demonstration and Orson Hyde’s home which was also the pageant office) to White Street.

nauvoo Orson Hyde home

I got seats in the back row so that if we needed to leave with our kids we wouldn’t be a big distraction.  I needed to return the tape to Sister May but I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  So I went east on White Street.

nauvoo Willard Richards Inn

I came to the Willard Richards Home and Inn.  It’s a beautiful brick home with a white balcony over the front door.  The gardens were lovely and well kept.  I was able to find a hand water pump also in the gardens.  I would love to go back and possibly stay here.

nauvoo willard richards backyard

nauvoo water pump

I finally returned to the Heber C. Kimball Home going west on White street to Partridge Street to the south to return the tape I borrowed from Sister May.  From there I went north on Partridge Street to the west on Hotchkiss Street past the Sessions Cabin.

Nauvoo Sessions cabin

I went into the Lyon Drug and Variety Store.

Nauvoo Lyon Drug and variety store

This is the store you would visit if you were in need of herbs and spices.

Nauvoo herbs in store

They also had china sets, fabric, parasols, yarn, tools, fruits, vegetables, just about anything you might need.

Nauvoo china sets

Nauvoo fabrics and herbs

Nauvoo Store essentials

While I was visiting this store my Mom called to tell me they were almost in Nauvoo and to find out where I was.  They drove by once and called me again.  I told them to pick me up there because they thought I was on the road not at the store.

Nauvoo Temple House

Nauvoo Street looking west toward the temple

We decided to go to breakfast/lunch.  It was already afternoon by the time they picked me up.  After lunch at Grandpa John’s we went looking around in eastern Nauvoo.  When we looked at the time we realized we needed to hurry to make our Wagon Ride.  We quickly loaded up the van and drove over to the Visitor’s Center parking lot where the Rides start.

Nauvoo wagon ride

We really enjoyed the ride because we all could see and had more room then the van.  We really got to see a lot of Nauvoo and hear some of the stories of the people who lived there.

Nauvoo wagon ride Papa and Nikki

The horses that pulled our wagon were named Mick and Dick.  The kids really wanted to pet the horses.  While we were waiting for the Carriage ride to start Nikki found a hiding place.  She was sitting inside a small shrub and wanted to show everyone her hiding place.  Too cute!

Nauvoo Wagon pulling horses

Nauvoo Nikki in her hiding place

We then went over to the Monument to Women and Garden.  It is absolutely peaceful there.  There are beautiful statues and flowers everywhere.  We enjoyed the peace and quiet while we were there.

Nauvoo Womens Memorial Garden

Grammy, Logan, Nikki, Papa, and Lizzi in Nauvoo

Grammy, Logan, Nikki, Papa, and Lizzi in Nauvoo

We went back to the start of the rides.  We got to ride the Carriage Ride into the woods.  Our guides were Elder Wasson on the left and Elder Cook on the right.  On the ride we got to hear inspirational stories about the people who lived in Nauvoo.  We heard a story about King Follett and saw the Memorial Well placed outside of town.

Nauvoo Carriage ride Elders Wasson and Cook

Nauvoo Carriage ride Lizzi Nikki and Grammy

At Inspiration Point we got to see the barges traveling down the Mississippi River.  I can see why Joseph Smith would ride to this point for time alone!

Nauvoo Inspiration Point

We got to see the barn where they care for the horses that pull the Wagons and Carriages.

Nauvoo carriage horse

Nauvoo Horse Barn

Our carriage was pulled by Mike and Andy which are two beautiful Clydesdale horses.  The kids enjoyed petting the horses.

Nikki, Lizzi, and Logan petting the horses Mike and Andy

Nikki, Lizzi, and Logan petting the horses Mike and Andy

Nauvoo Aly petting the horse

The girls decided to go to Scovil Bakery

Nauvoo Scovil Bakery

Nauvoo eating gingerbread

and the guys decided to go to the Jonathan Browning Home and Gunsmith Shop.

Nauvoo Browning Gunsmith shop

We enjoyed our Gingerbread Cookies at the bakery.  We got to see the bustle oven in the bakery.  Most of the stairs in Nauvoo are very steep including the one in the bakery to the basement.

Nauvoo bustle oven

Nauvoo stairs

Nauvoo temple plate

We went to the Post Office and learned how they sent letters.

Nauvoo Post Office

We then went to the John Taylor Home.

Nauvoo John Taylor home

We were there about 1 minute before Lizzi said, “I need to go potty!”

Nauvoo Bathroom

So we left to find the bathroom.  Across the road from the bathroom is the Stoddard Tin Shop and Home.  The tin shop is where the original Statue Moroni was made.  No one knows where it is.

Nauvoo Stoddard tinsmith shop

Nauvoo Angel Moroni

We then went to the Blacksmith and Farrier Shop to get a “prairie diamond.”

Nauvoo Prairie diamond

It’s also where we learned about the wagons made for the trip west.

nauvoo wagon

Elder Hall was our guide to the shop.

nauvoo Elder Hall

He made a small horse shoe and Logan got it.

nauvoo logan with horseshoe

The Brickyard was our final stop before dinner.

Nauvoo brick yard

We learned about making bricks.  The kiln in front of the brick yard is actually used for ceramics!  The trees in Nauvoo rot from the inside out so it’s not possible to use the trees for building.

Light brick is how it starts, orange brick is partially dried, red is dried, and black is closest to the fire and over dried.

Light brick is how it starts, orange brick is partially dried, red is dried, and black is closest to the fire and over dried.

They never threw any bricks away.  If they were over dried or not dry enough they would use those bricks in the fireplaces or other places that they would not be seen.  The clay in Nauvoo was just about perfect for making bricks.  All homes in Nauvoo made out of wood are from wood that was floated down the Mississippi River to Nauvoo.

We went to the grocery store to get food for dinner.  We picked lunch meat and chips for dinner.

Nauvoo Park

We then went to a nearby park for dinner and also to let the kids run and play before the pageant!  Little did we know that they had a kids carnival before the pageant.  It was all games and things that they would have done in the 1800’s at a carnival.  The girls first went on the stilts.  Grammy was helping Nikki while I took pictures.

Nauvoo Grammy helping Nikki

We then saw the two man saw competition.

Nauvoo two man saw

We then learned about collecting beads.  Once the kids got 10 beads they got a special bead.  We got the girls their bracelets and got started collecting beads.  Next we went to the stick pull game.

Nauvoo stick pulling

They had a tough match but they both pulled hard and Nikki won!

Nauvoo Nikki wins stick pulling

The girls liked this game a lot.  They kept challenging each other and finally Lizzi beat Nikki!

Nauvoo Lizzi wins stick pulling

The girls helped tie a quilt.  They even got to work together on it, because it was the last part to be tied and they had to lean over to get to the middle.  To make it easier on themselves one worked on the top the other worked on the bottom!

Nauvoo Lizzi tying a quilt

Lizzi tying the top of the quilt

Nikki helping from underneath to tie the quilt

Nikki helping from underneath to tie the quilt

We got a piece of wood with a branding in it of Nauvoo!  It’s really cool!  The girls then went to play kids games…

Nauvoo childrens games

There was a bean bag tossing game.

Nauvoo bean bag toss

The girls wove fabric together into a braid.

nauvoo Nikki weaving fabric

Nikki was done with hers first and loved it so much she made several more!

Nauvoo Lizzi weaving fabric

I had to help Lizzi finish making her braid.  She didn’t like it so much.  She quickly moved on to making a wooden yo-yo.

nauvoo Lizzi making a wooden yoyo

While Nikki was still making braids Lizzi moved on to the puppet show.  She got a very cute puppet that was made by some of the pageant members.

Nauvoo Lizzi with her puppet

When it starts getting dark they end all of the games.  Then they have the kids march up after the flags and enter the pageant.  It was really cool that the kids got to march in after the flags.

Nauvoo color guard

The girls marching in the parade.

Nauvoo Nikki and Lizzi marching in parade

Lizzi and Aly marching in the parade.

Nauvoo Lizzi and aly

After the mini parade the color guard went on stage and we had a flag ceremony.

Nauvoo flag ceremony

The pageant started and it was fast moving from the start!

Nauvoo pageant beginning

During the pageant Lizzi had to go to the bathroom.  While we were walking to the bathroom I took this sunset picture!

Nauvoo sunset

At another potty break for Nikki this time…I saw this spider and tried almost in vain to take a picture of this spider.

Nauvoo spider

The middle of the pageant has the temple almost complete!

Nauvoo pageant middle

We are at the end of the pageant and now we are looking to the future…

Nauvoo pageant end

After the pageant is over we went up to the temple to take some photos.  Nikki and Lizzi were wanting to be in the pictures.  Looking toward the west from the temple is a statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.

Nauvoo Nikki and Lizzi with Joseph and Hyrum statue

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Stephanie Shultz is a wife and mom two little girls in Cottonwood, Arizona. She enjoys photography, hiking, scrapbooking and sight seeing.

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