Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nauvoo, Illinois~ "The City Beautiful"

Historic Nauvoo

"In 1839, early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—called “Mormons”—established this place of peace and beauty on a great bend in the Mississippi.  And then they were forced to leave.

Today, Nauvoo is one of America’s premier historic communities.  It has been designated a National Historic Landmark District. Many of the early homes, shops and public buildings have been restored or rebuilt and are open for guided tours.  Horse-drawn wagons carry visitors along the tree-shaded streets.  Children’s plays, musicals and nightly shows fill the days with family entertainment.

At “Pioneer Pastimes,” children play the “unplugged” games of another century.  Visitors enjoy demonstrations in a blacksmith shop, a brickyard, a tin shop, a bakery and in the historic Browning Gunsmith Shop.

Nauvoo offers its guests a chance to understand a people of faith, to make a connection to the values of a simpler time, and to share some real fun with family or friends."

The Nauvoo Temple

"In the 1840s, as the population and activity in Nauvoo increased, so did the focus on the primary construction project, the Nauvoo Temple. Over a five-year period from 1841 – 1846, the principal building emphasis in the growing city centered on completion of the temple. The building, intended as a sanctuary of significant spiritual blessings for the Saints, was dedicated in 1846.

Construction of the historic temple required enormous effort in time and resources. In addition to establishing their own homes and businesses, Nauvoo residents contributed both time and money to the inspiring and challenging construction project. Men volunteered a tithe, or one day in ten to labor on the temple, while women donated clothing and meals to assist the work force.

The temple followed the inspiration and vision of Joseph Smith with the design implemented through the efforts of the architect, William Weeks. Distinctive architectural features in the classical Greek style temple included symbolic sun, moon and star stones, a zinc-domed bell tower punctuated with green shutters and a dramatic, triple-arched entry portico.

Following the westerly exodus of the Saints in 1846, the temple was vacated. Eventually, the structure was partially destroyed by arson and a subsequent tornado. It was then dismantled for local building projects.

Wilford Wood negotiated the repurchase of the temple lot in 1937, eventually leading to the repurchase of each portion of the block at various times through 1967.

In April 1999, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the LDS Church, announced in General Conference that the Nauvoo Temple would be rebuilt as a memorial to the Prophet Joseph Smith and the early Saints who sacrificed so much to construct the original. Ground was broken in October of that year, and on June 27, 2002, the reconstructed Nauvoo Temple was dedicated."


  1. that is quite the building!

  2. I am sure it is a special feeling to visit this city and being immersed in its history! Have fun! Beautiful pics!