Friday, August 15, 2008

Nauvoo, Thursday Aug 14

We walked about 5 miles this morning. We left the hotel and walked south to Parley Street and walked out into the country to the Old Nauvoo Burial Ground. It was early morning, and we were alone in the beautiful cemetery where many early saints are buried. Many of those buried in his lovely place were children, and we felt a quiet reverence for the place as we wandered the shaded grove and looked at the old limestone tombstones.

After clean up and a light breakfast, we toured more of the sites in Historic Nauvoo, including the Riser Boot Shop where we saw a demonstration of shoemaking (soles held to the shoe with small wooden pegs). We enjoyed the demonstration at the Webb Blacksmith Shop and came away with a ring made from a horseshoe nail (everyone gets one). We also visited the brickyard, but for some reason we didn't take any pictures. This was a shame, because the missionary actually took us into the kiln building and the elder there walked us through the process they use today to make the small souvenir bricks that are given to each family. The industry required of those early residents or Nauvoo was amazing. There were 350 brick buildings when the saints left, and only 49 remain from that period. They made as many as 4 million bricks in a season. And the walks of the homes and other buildings were generally made only of brick stacked three deep - lumber was scarce for framing. Anyway, the three layers of brick made for fairly tornado proof homes.

The Seventies Hall is on Parley Street and it was used for training missionaries who left from here to take the gospel to many countries. It's a beautifully restored building, and we particularly warmed to the older sister who was our tour guide. I got to stand at the podium for a moment, and imagined being there to hear men like Brigham Young, Parley Pratt, or Joseph Smith.

Down Parley Street are placques which record the comments of saints who were involved in the exodus from Nauvoo to the west. At one point in February, 1846, there were 4,000 wagons lined up on Parley waiting to cross the ice choked Mississippi to Montrose, Iowa.

We stopped for a visit with Gabe and Gary, the two oxen, and rode the wagon around the grove. At the end of Parley is a monument to the exodus - Joseph Smith and Brigham Young gazing west across the river, holding a roughly drawn map in hand.

We drove to Carthage and visited the jail where Joseph and Hyrum were assassinated. This is a very sobering experience and leaves one feeling a little melancholy.

We love you. The last few pictures are of an old stone bridge that was built just after the saints left Nauvoo and cross a drainage that was constructed by the saints to rid the swamps or water and make the land habitable.

1 comment:

The Gallands said...

Looks like you really had a great time. We love you and can't wait to see you!