|Photo: Statues of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on horseback face the white Nauvoo Temple at dusk|
Since I was a child, I have loved hearing pioneer stories. I read the "Little House" books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, I learned about the Oregon Trail and was proud to live in the Willamette Valley, and I sang "Come, Come Ye Saints" in church. Though I am not descended from those who walked the Mormon Trail, I do share their faith and am thankful for their sacrifices. I have always wanted to visit Nauvoo, which housed the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1839-1846. I wanted to be able to see the historic buildings and imagine what life was like 175 years ago.
My husband, John, does descend from Nauvoo pioneer stock, so seeing the sites there took on an even more personal note for him. Fortunately, it is extremely easy to learn about ancestors while in Nauvoo.
We visited the Land & Records Research Center, where we were greeted by smiling volunteers who were eager to help us find connections to Nauvoo. John sat at one computer; I sat at another. John quickly found his great-great-great-grandma (who was born in Nauvoo) and her family. The volunteer who was helping him was able to show him on a map exactly where his ancestors lived.
|Photo: A sign clearly marks the brick building that is the Land & Records Research Center|
Once John and I were done at the Land & Records Research Center, we set off to find the places in Nauvoo that were of particular importance to our relatives. We took a wagon ride past King Follett's well. (Sadly, this well is where he met his accidental death.)
|Photo: King Follett's well is surrounded by a split-rail fence|
|Photo: The green corner lot that belonged to John's ancestors|
|Photo: The lovely two-story brick Willard Richards' home|
|Photo: Another red brick building; this one, the home of Brigham Young|
|Photo: Looking through a multi-paned window, one can spot the white Nauvoo Temple|
|Photo: The Nauvoo Temple at dusk|
(If you enjoy learning about family history, be sure to enter to win a 4-day pass to #RootsTech!)