Monday, July 30, 2012

Vacation -Day 4 -Nauvoo, IL

Another day in beautiful Nauvoo. 
Clay got up early to attend a session at the temple. The girls and I got ready and then went to the Lands_and_Records_Office. There I was able to look up my ancestors and download all the information they had on each one onto a CD. One of the cool things it shows it where each person lived while in Nauvoo.

A little history about Nauvoo, IL: Early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) came to Commerce, IL in 1839. They came to escape religious persecution in Missouri. They bought the town and renamed it Nauvoo (meaning beautiful in Hebrew). The saints worked hard to drain the swampy land and build a city. The prophet Joseph Smith Jr was the mayor of Nauvoo. By 1844 Nauvoo's population had swollen to 12,000, rivaling the size of Chicago at the time. However, religious persecutions followed the saints and forced them to leave in 1846 and start their trek to Winter Quarters and then Utah. Today Nauvoo's population is about 1,150.  

Here is the home of Joseph Wellington Coolidge, my 3rd great-grandfather. He had a shop in his house where he made window sashes and doors. Joseph Coolidge sold his home (probably when the saints left Nauvoo) to Johann Georg Kauffman who placed the German inscription on the home. It reads, "This house is mine and yet not mine. Who comes after me shall find the same. I have been here, and who reads this will also have been here." Now the home is used to house senior missionaries. Joseph Coolidge did not go with the saints to Utah. While in Winter Quarters he felt it would be better to go to the pacific northwest and led his own group there. Within a few months of arrival he returned to Iowa and his first wife. He had 4 wives while in Nauvoo. My 3rd great-grandmother was Elizabeth Jane Tuttle, his 4th wife. She did not follow him. Instead, she took their two daughters and followed the saints to Utah. 
 As well as I can figure from the maps, this is the site that John Darwin Chase, also my 3rd great-grandfather, lived. Interestingly, his son Amos Chase ended up marrying Ellenor Coolidge, one of the two daughters of Joseph Wellington Coolidge and Elizabeth Jane Tuttle. That was in 1863. It might have had something to do with the fact that John Darwin Chase married Elizabeth Jane Tuttle Coolidge in 1854.
Clay met us just outside the home of Joseph Wellington Coolidge. He dropped me off a the temple and took the girls to the Family_Living_Center. There the girls got to learn about making candles.
Above is a picture of a courting_candle which was used to tell a suitor how long he could stay and talk with your daughter.
Next the girls moved on to this crazy contraption and tried their hand at making rope.
Next they went on a wagon ride around historic Nauvoo.
I finally met up with them again and together we went to the Wilford Woodruff home. I found out that he is my 7th cousin 4 times removed. So not closely related but still fun knowing that we share a common ancestor. Wilford Woodruff was the 4th president and prophet of our church.
Here at the Lyon_Drug_and_Variety_Store I loved looking at all the colored glass lined up together. 
We went to see the "High Hopes and River Boats" show at the Visitors' Center. It was a cute show with lots of songs and dance.
After the show we went on a tour of the Joseph Smith Historic Sites. These are owned by the Community_of_Christ. You are not allowed to take pictures of the inside, so these are all photos of the outside of the buildings. First is the Red Brick Store which was owned and operated by Joseph Smith.
The Nauvoo House was designed to be a boarding house. However, construction was not completed at the time the Saints left Nauvoo. 
This is the Homestead where Joseph and Emma Smith lived when they first arrived in Nauvoo (just the cabin portion). They added space on the back of the home while there. Then much later, their son Joseph Smith III added on the white portion. If the front you can see an area taped off. There was an archaeologist working at the time. He called us over to show us different artifacts he found and what their significance was. It was a great addition to our tour.
Joseph Smith and his family outgrew the Homestead. He build this house to make more room for his family and the steady stream of guest that came to meet the prophet. He soon added a hotel wing to the back of the house to accommodate all these visitors. This was his final home.
On the west end of town, along the banks of the Mississippi River, is the Pioneer Memorial. This is the location that many of my ancestors started their trek to Salt Lake City in order to escape persecutions. They build flatboats to carry the covered wagons across the river. However, some days they didn't need them, the river was frozen and they crossed on the ice. 
In these two pictures you can see a red and a blue buoy. These mark there the shore of the river was at the time the saints lived in Nauvoo.
After dinner we stopped by the Allyn_House. This is where each of the stained glass windows on the new temple was made -the old-fashioned way, without any nails. Just wood and glass.
The girls were done looking at things by this point. Clay took them back to the hotel to swim in the pool for a bit. I went to see the show "Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo". 
As I got out of the show the sun was just beginning to set. I took the opportunity to stop and take some pictures of the Nauvoo Temple. I had such a great experience there earlier today. I loved sitting there, knowing that my ancestors had sacrificed so much to help build the original Nauvoo Temple. The new temple was built to the same dimensions and specifications as the first one. Just now there is electricity, plumbing, and an elevator.


Anonymous said...

 I would like you and your family to know what a wonderful home the Coolidge house has been. I grew up in it in the 50's, knowing it as the Kaufman House. It had two staircases, massive fireplaces which we used, a mysterious attic and a musty cellar. There was a well and pump beside the kitchen, in a brick courtyard that I had to keep weed free! It was a house of blessing for our family for many years. 

claynheidi said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you so much for your comment! I loved to hear stories about that house. Thank you so much for sharing it with me. I am sure Nauvoo looked a lot different when you grew up there.