Sunday, May 30, 2010

Houses of Interest in Nauvoo

The Willard Richards Inn is currently a place people can stay when they visit Nauvoo. Willard was single when he called as an apostle. Susan Easton Black said, "I know why he was single, he weighed over 300 pounds." He did marry, however, and his wife, Janetta is buried on Hwy 96 as you come in to town and you can see her grave from the road. He was with the prophet, Joseph Smith and the patriarch, Hyrum, at the time of the martyrdom. Prophecies concerning his safety were fulfilled as his earlobe was only grazed by a bullet and no other damage occurred. He later served as a counselor to President Brigham Young and hiked up Ensign Peak when the brethren hiked to survey that Great Salt Lake Valley.
The David Yearsley Home was built in 1840 and was the tallest private residence in Nauvoo. It is believed the foundation rests on solid rock. In 1854, the basement of the house was used as the Nauvoo City Jail. Currently it is missionary housing for the YPMs. The top floor is not usable because there is not an outside fire escape.

This is the Orson Hyde home. He was one of the original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He went on a mission to Palestine and in 1841 on top of the Mount of Olives dedicated the Holy Land for the gathering of the Jews. This home was built in 1843 and occupied by his family. He was also the Apostle that publicly dedicated the original Nauvoo Temple on May 1, 1846. Currently, this home serves as the Nauvoo Pageant offices and is occupied by my dear friends, Elder and Sister McMinn.

This is the Newel K. Whitney home. He was the Presiding Bishop of the Church for many years. His story is more magnificent in Kirtland, but Elizabeth Ann Whitney was chosen by Emma to be one of her counselors when the Relief Society was first organized. One thought to ponder: Emma chose counselors in whose homes she had lived at one time. She knew these women and trusted them. They were faithful and loyal friends.

This is the Coolidge house, later purchased by Johann Georg Kaufmann, as you can see written on the house. Joseph Coolidge and his wife were friends of Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma. He was construction contractor, cabinet maker and joiner. It was built in 1843, but purchased in 1848. The German on it says: I was here and whoever is reading this was also here. This house is mine, but really not mine, and who comes after me, will also be so fine. When I'm on the wagon tour, I read the German to people and then give a rough translation,which they seem to enjoy. I know, "Stick to the script, Sister Geilmann." I wasn't very good at it on my first mission and I'm not any better at it here.

Simeon Dunn was baptized in 1839 in Michigan by his brother, James. He wanted to meet a living prophet so he walked 500 miles to Nauvoo and moved his family here in 1840. Some of my friends live in this house, Elder and Sister Anderson. This is also the home in which the spice tins were found that are now housed in our little bakery.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Carl Sandburg in Galesburg, Illinois

This is the birth home of Carl Sandburg, poet, and biographer of Abraham Lincoln. He was born and lived for many years in Galesburg, Illinois. This city is also the home of another famous American--Nancy Reagan. She and Ronald, long before they met walked these streets and didn't even know it. Amazing what you learn!!!
Remembrance Rock is where his ashes are interred. His wife and daughters also have their ashes interred under this rock. It's a beautiful garden behind the house and there are stepping stones around it with quotations from some of his most notable poems etched in them.

This was the kitchen of his birth place. Most of the things in this home were owned by his family. They may not have been in this home at the time he was born, but they still belonged to his family, which was interesting to see.

This was one of his guitars. Another thing I didn't know about him before I went to his home was that he was quite a folk song singer. In fact, he collected a whole book of folk songs while he was traveling the railroad as a hobo. He spent a lot of years collecting them and put them into one book. He even gave some concerts, not like we know concerts, but it was amazing to learn the skills this man had.

They had about thirty magazine covers on which Carl Sandburg was pictured. The amazing thing to me was that he had not submitted his work for publication initially, it was his wife. She was the one who received all the rejection letters. What I wonder is how the publishers felt after they realized who they had turned down.

This is a picture in the visitor's center of Carl Sandburg adressing a joint session of Congress. I didn't know he was a socialist. I'm surprised they didn't have a picture of him before the McCarthy committee. Anyway, notice the president of the Senate, then Vice-President Richard Nixon.

This is his old Remington typewriter. I think that's the kind of typewriter I had when I was growing up and I wasn't born nearly as long ago as he was. Little did I know our typewriter was an antique. But my old Apple IIe is an antique now.

The many faces of Carl Sandburg. This was a picture hanging in the main entryway of the visitor's center. The visitor's center is a home that is older than his by about 5 years and is about twice the size. They showed an interview with him and Edward R. Murrow as you enter and then you can look at the memorabilia and the orginial home.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hannibal, MO.

About 60 miles south of Nauvoo lies Hannibal Missouri. I suppose if one is not a Mark Twain fan, it wouldn't be worth the drive, but to anyone who appreciates his work, it is such a great place to remember the fine works of a great author. He only lived here about 10 years, but the people of Hannibal knew a good thing when they saw it and declared themselves his hometown. This was Mark Twain's desk. It is located in the museum that houses many of the things that belonged to him and his family. There's also a large riverboat steering wheel and a riverboat whistle here. They have Norman Rockwell pictures that he painted to illustrate Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. There's a stage coach, an ongoing movie of Huck Finn, and a representative cave along with posters depicting the novels of Mark Twain.
This staircase leads to a lighthouse that stands of the top of the hill. It is listed on the National Historic Register. It's 244 stairs to the top and another 244 back down, but we made it. Half way up is a small portion of the original Mark Twain Memorial Bridge built as one of the FDR projects of the 30s. A new bridge has replaced it. When you get to the lighthouse, you have the most spectacular view of the Mississippi River. The light house is no longer in operation, but it stands as a reminder of the many years of service this great river has given to America.

This statue stands at the end of the street where all the boybood memorabilia is located. I think it's so great that they included two of the most notable Twain characters. I caught myself singing some of the songs from the muscial Tom Sawyer.

This is Grant's Drug Store, most probably where Aunt Polly got some of the "remedy" she fed to Tom, who, in turn, fed it to the cat. There is a great Rockwell painting of that incident on the wall behind my vantage point. There was a small tape playing while we were standing there that said most of their medicines were about 75-95% alcohol. No wonder people felt like they needed to keep taking it.

This is Judge Clemens law office and court. When I looked inside, I thought of some of the John Grisham works I have read describing a law office in Mississippi. Judge Clemens never was very successful in his lifetime. In fact, he ended up closing the office "due to the lack of interest".

The haunted house described by Twain in Tom Sawyer. When I was here 10 years ago, you could walk through this wax museum. If you look really hard at the right window, you can see Injun Joe. Now you see the For Sale sign in front. Many of the attractions in Hannibal have been closed because people can't afford to keep them open. In fact, Becky Thatcher's house is in need of several million dollars for rennovaton, so it sits closed.

In each of the rooms of the boyhood home of Mark Twain, they have a statue of him standing by a quotation from one of his books. This was the library of the home. They have glass keeping you from walking into the rooms and it is all a self-guided tour as you walk through the home. He worked in a printing shop for a while as a boy. I found the comparison to Ben Franklin amazing. Maybe there is something to putting words together literally that helps to make literary genius.

This is the Huck Finn House. He was a real person with another name. His life was pretty much as Mark Twain wrote about it. They were very poor. His mother died, so it was just him and his "pap", and often they had very meager settings on their table. It's a two room home, one where you see each window.

This is a model of a statue that was planned to be built in Hannibal, but it was too expensive. This is just a small part of it,but notice the characters that are included from his books, with Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer in the very center. You'll, of course, recognize the prince and the pauper, Becky Thatcher and Cousin Sid, as well. It really is a remarkable walk down memory lane of some of his most notable books.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pella, Iowa

Every year, the town of Pella, Iowa has a tulip festival. Their founders were obviously Dutch, so they have a lot of shops and pastries and traditions that the Dutch have. It's also where Pella Windows are made. There were so many people here we could hardly move, but it was fun to be a small part of it anyway. This doesn't begin to picture the tulips, but I couldn't get anywhere to get some great pictures, so here are the tulips as you pull into the town.
They have a huge parade. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay because we had responsibilities in Nauvoo, but you can see how elaborate the floats are. I have other pictures, but I'll just include one.

What's the German doing in the middle of Holland? This windmill was brought in from Holland and is placed over a historic village. I guess I'll have to go back over when it's not crowded because it looked to have a great history attached to it.

As we were walking into town, we saw these dolls in a window and someone told me they depict mose of the traditional costumes of the Dutch. If that's not right, then I guess I should check my sources in the future.

This is on top of the local bank. The blades were actually turning and somehow my camera was able to capture it without the glare. The welcome center is also a windmill.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trail of Hope

The Trail of hope is at the end of Parley Street. It was once named "The Street of Tears". The new title reflects the hope with which the saints left in following a prophet of the living God. Wrote William Clayton later, "We'll find the place, which God for us prepared, far away in the west, where none shall come to hurt of make afraid, there the Saints will be blessed." That reflects the kind of hope the Saints had as they left behind that beautiful temple and that magnificent city where they had lived, and laughed and loved, where they had walked with a prophet of God, and where they buried that prophet, and moved on with faith in God, and at the direction of a newly called prophet. Jane Johnston Black, a midwife, who delivered nine babies on the first night after the Saints were driven from Nauvoo. She was called to the bedside of John Taylor before he would let any doctors see him. When she asked him why, he explained, "You are the right one for the job, and you are to stand and testify on the morning of the resurrection against the assasins who murdered the prophet and his brother, Hyrum." She had been called by the prophet, Joseph Smith to "give aid and comfort to those who were ill" and she was often the only woman on the scene of battle during the Battle of Nauvoo. (I'm sure the real Jane was a lot thinner than the one standing in this picture.)
Martha Ann Smith was a young girl here in Nauvoo who later wrote of her trials and remembrances of her exodus from Nauvoo.

George Q. Cannon immigrated from England, as a small boy. His mother died on the ship on the way here and was buried in a watery grave. Shortly after arriving his father died, so this young boy was taken under the personal tutelage of John Taylor, who taught him the printing business. He later became a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Mary Field Garner, the last leaf, as she was the last living person to have personally known the prophet, Joseph Smith. She was about 10 years of age as they began the exodus. She told of her mother not having time to finish the bread she had started, so she put it in a pot, hung it along side the wagon and started on the journey. When they stopped for the night, then she baked the bread. My cousins are related to this remarkable woman of faith. I remember clearly the stories told about her trek west.

Bathsheba W. Smith was the wife of George A. Smith, grandmother of George Albert, later president of the Church. She also was one of the original sisters during the organization of the Relief Society. She later became the General President of the Relief Society, along with serving as a counselor to Eliza R. Snow. She recorded in her journal as she left Nauvoo, "My last act was to tidy the room, sweep the floor, and set the broom behind the door in its accustomed place. Then with emotions in my heart, I closed the door and faced an unknown future."

Hosea Stout was one of the "Captain of the Guard" of the Nauvoo Legion. He was also a police officer here in early Nauvoo. Some of his ancestors have returned to Nauvoo to keep the legacy of faith alive.

Wilford Woodruff served seven missions for the Church in addition to serving often as the scribe for Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. He also served as fourth president of the Church. When he left Nauvoo, he recorded in his journal,"I was in Nauvoo on the 26th of May in 1846, for the last time and left the city of Saints feeling that most likely I was taking a final farewll of Nauvoo for this life. I looked upon the temple and City as they reced from view and asked the Lord to remember the sacrifices of his saints." That prayer has been answered with the restoration of this magnificient city and especially with the restoration of the beautiful Nauvoo Temple.

Sarah Leavitt-- They made the trip as far as Bonaparte, Iowa, and her husband fell sick. He wanted a hymn sung by his daughter as he died, "Come let us anew our journey pursue". As she sang, he passed to the other side of the veil, "Oh that each from his Lord, may receive the glad word, 'well and faithfully done, enter into my joy and sit down on my throne, enter into my joy and sit down on my throne'." That is my desire.