Friday, October 13, 2017

Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario (2003)

This is the second part of our trip that began March 27, 2003. Part one is primarily New York City and Philadelphia. Part two begins April 2, 2003 in Wilkes Barre, PA, and is primarily an LDS Church historical tour, covering Harmony, Palmyra, Kirtland and then Niagara Falls. This is much less commentary in part two, much of it was pre-planning notes and our basic itinerary. 

April 2, 2003 (Wednesday):            

We had our best breakfast in the morning as part of our room rate. They had Belgian waffles (Andrew’s favorite) with butter and syrup, juice (I had orange and cranberry), hard boiled eggs, yogurt (peach - my favorite), sweet rolls, cereal (I had Applejacks) and fruit (I took an apple with me).

We pulled into a gas station in Wilkes-Barre to get gas and asked directions back onto the freeway. It just happened that the owner of the service station was a Mormon and talked to me briefly. Judy brought along some Living Scriptures tapes dealing with Church history and we started to listen to them to get us in the mood and frame of mind for the Church history segment of our trip. Sam, particularly, was interested in the tapes, which lasted us until we got to Kirtland.

Drive to Harmony (Oakland), PA

Home of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale: 6 1/2 miles east of the Hallstead/Great Bend exit from I-81 on SR 171 (1.8 miles west of Oakland, PA). In 1853, Harmony Township boundary was changed and the home is now located in Oakland Township. Joseph and his father boarded with Isaac Hale in 1825 while working for Josiah Stowell. This home is west of Joseph and Emma’s home, around a bend in the highway and across the road (on the north side). Original home destroyed by fire between 1873 and 1875. A replacement home was torn down in 1951-1952. All that is visible is a grassy plain, a split rail fence and a marker.

Home of Joseph and Emma Smith:  The two-story frame house burned down in 1919.
In December 1827, Joseph and Emma moved to Harmony from Manchester to work on the translation of the gold plates. Their first son, Alvin, was born and died the same day, on June 15, 1828. They bought a small farm and house where Joseph translated from April 7 to early June 1829. This is where the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon were translated that were later lost by Martin Harris. On May 15, 1829, Joseph and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic Priesthood from John the Baptist nearby on the Susquehanna River (the exact location is unknown - the monument there is placed for convenience of visitors - the site  of the home was just west of the monument). Samuel Smith, the first convert baptism, was baptized there 10 days later. The Melchizedek Priesthood  was restored somewhere between Harmony and Colesville, New York (the location is unknown). After organization of the church in 1830, Joseph and Emma returned to Harmony to live through the summer of 1830. 15 revelations in the D&C were received here: Sections 3 to 12, 13 was on the banks of the Susquehanna River, and 24 to 27.

McKune Cemetery:  80 yards east of the Aaronic Priesthood Monument. Headstones for Isaac Hale (died January 11, 1839), Elizabeth Hale (died February 16, 1842), and Alvin Smith (the headstone reads “In Memory of An Infant Son of Joseph and Emma Smith June 15th 1828.”).

Susquehanna River:  175 yards directly south of Joseph and Emma’s home. A path has been cleared through trees and undergrowth commencing on a line with the backside of the Aaronic Priethood Monument, but a chain-link fence and “No Tresspassing” signs have been placed because dangerous railroad tracks exist. Negotiations in process to provide a safe access for visitors. John the Baptist ordained Joseph and Oliver on May 15, 1829. Samuel Smith, the first convert baptism, took place on May 25, 1829. 

Drive to Fayette, NY: Comfort Inn in Wilkes-Barre to Whitmer farm - 202.03 miles, 3 hours and 31 minutes.

Peter Whitmer Farm: 1451 Aunkst Road, Waterloo, NY 13165 (315) 539-2552
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (free) 3 miles south of Waterloo on SR 96 and .8 mile west on the north side of Aunkst Road. Fayette gets its name from the General Marquis de LaFayette, the Revolutionary War hero. Church formally organized here with six members on April 6, 1830. 20 revelations from D&C received here: 14-18, 20-21 and 28-40. Joseph and Oliver Cowdery did most of Book of Mormon translation here. This is also where Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and David Whitmer witnessed the gold plates in the presence of an angel. This was about 220 yards east of the log house between Aunkst and Miller Roads. The log home was reconstructed in 1980 and is an example of the type of log home built during that period. The Fayette Visitor’s Center and Chapel are where the history of the organization of the church is told.

Drive to Farmington, NY: 34.5 miles and 44 minutes from Whitmer Farm to Budget Inn

Budget Inn, 6001 NYS Rt. 96, Farmington, NY 14425 (585) 924-5020
$49.00 + 10% tax = $53.90/night x 2 = $107.80

April 3, 2003 (Thursday):               

17.23 miles and 27 minutes from Budget Inn to Harris Farm

Martin Harris Farm: 2095 Maple Avenue, Palmyra, NY
1.4 miles north of Palmyra and the Four Corners intersection of Main and Church Streets. The site of the home is at 1962 Maple, on the west side of the road. It was 1 1/2 story frame house and burned down in 1849. The home now standing is owned by the Church but is not open for tours. The 116 page manuscript was brought here in June 1828. It was stolen by his wife, Lucy, and Flanders Dyke (married to Martin’s daughter, Lucy) in June or July 1828.

General John Swift Memorial Cemetery:  On the west side of Church Street opposite St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church, on a rise 20 feet above street level. The headstone of Alvin Smith is on the southern edge 106 feet from the entry stairway. The epitaph reads: “In memory of Alvin, son of Joseph and Lucy Smith, who died Nov. 19, 1823, in the 25 year of his age.”

Grandin Building, 1.67 miles and 4 minutes from Harris Farm

Grandin Building: 217 East Main Street, Palmyra, NY 14522 (315) 597-5851
Original 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon printed here. Dedicated on March 26, 1998, the anniversary of the first printing of the Book of Mormon in 1830. Restored to as it was in the late 1820s. The printing press was located on the 3rd floor; a book bindery, where the printed sheets were folded into book-size pages and sewed, cut and bound, was on the 2nd floor; and a bookstore was on the 1st floor where the Book of Mormon was to be sold.

Original Homesite of Joseph Smith, Sr. Family:  Tradition identifies the SE corner of the intersection of Johnson and Vienna Streets at 202 Vienna Street as the site of the Smith home following their arrival in 1816. The road tax list, however, shows that beginning in April 1817, they were on West Main Street until 1819.

Joseph Smith, Sr. log home: 843 Stafford Road, 1.6 miles south of West Main Street in Palmyra, 230 yards north of the frame home. There is a reconstructed log house dedicated by President Hinckley on March 27, 1998. Erection may have begun as early as winter of 1817-1818 and it was built by 1818 or 1819. It was 1 1/2 stories with two rooms on the ground level, a kitchen and a parlor (which doubled as a bedroom). A bedroom wing was added on the NW corner later. A steep, narrow stairway led to an overhead garret, divided into two apartments. It was from this home that Joseph went into the Sacred Grove. Also where Joseph was visited by Moroni. Hyrum and Jerusha lived here from their marriage, November 2, 1826, until the fall of 1830. The eight witnesses viewed the gold plates in a little grove nearby and Oliver Cowdery completed copying in longhand the printer’s copy of the Book of Mormon from the manuscript here. He and Hyrum supervised the first publication of the Book of Mormon. Hyrum left in September/October 1830 to preside over the Colesville Branch. In the spring of 1829, when new owners required Joseph, Sr. and Lucy to leave the Manchester farm, they moved back into the log house occupied by Hyrum. Joseph, Sr. and Lucy left about the same time as Hyrum to the Waterloo area.

1.13 miles and 2 minutes from Grandin Building to Joseph Smith, Sr. home

Joseph Smith, Sr. frame home:  1.7 miles south of West Main Street. Restored in 2000 to its condition at the time of the Smith occupancy in 1825-1829. Alvin had raised the framework by November 1822. After Alvin’s death on November 22nd, a neighbor, Russell Stoddard, helped supervise the construction. It was not completed in October 1825 when Josiah Stowell came to visit Joseph, but it was apparently occupied. Joseph left the frame home for his annual visits to the Hill Cumorah in 1825 (from the above, it appears it may have been from the log home), 1826 and 1827. Lemuel Durfee Sr. purchased the farm on December 20, 1825 when the Smiths were unable to pay the mortgage. The Smiths became tenants on the land until they left in April 1829 back to the log home. This is the home where the gold plates were brought back to from the Hill Cumorah in 1827.  Joseph received 4 revelations here: D&C 2, 19, 22 and 23.

Sacred Grove: 843 Stafford Road, Palmyra, NY
1/4 mile west of the log and frame homes. One of the last surviving tracts of primeval forest in western New York. It is a 10 acre grove with maples, beech, hophorn-beam, wild cherry, ash, oak, hickory and elm. Many of the tree, are over 200 years old and would have been full-grown at the time of the First Vision, in the spring of 1820.

2.96 miles and 7 minutes from the Joseph Smith, Sr. home to the Hill Cumorah

Hill Cumorah Visitor’s Center:  603 Route 21 South, Palmy, NY
Located on SR 21, 2.3 miles north of I-90 and 3 miles from the Joseph Smith, Sr. log home.  Where Joseph Smith received the gold plates from the Angel Moroni in 1827.  117 feet in elevation, a drumlin, where sand, gravel, clay, boulders, etc. were deposited by glaciers.

We previously scheduled to attend a 7:30 p.m. session at the Palmyra New York Temple, located just east of the Joseph Smith, Sr. log home, about a quarter mile. We’d been up the temple earlier in the day with the boys, walking around it. A tree covered ridge mostly obscures the Smith farm, but one opening in the trees allows a view of the trees comprising the sacred grove. The boys spotted a red fox running along that ridge. It was a beautiful red, with black and white on the tail, and very large. Judy exclaimed it was the first red fox she’d ever seen and she was quite thrilled to see it. She usually doesn’t get too excited about spotting animals, so her reaction was fun for me. I have seen one red fox before, as a boy in the foothills of Salt Lake above my home on Northmont Way.

All of the outside windows of the temple are stained glass representing the sacred grove: green, brown and gold colors representing trees and leaves. It was pretty in the day, but the stained glass does not stand out much during the day. However, at night when we went back, the lights from within the temple illuminated the stained glass and it was absolutely beautiful. As we left the temple, an ice storm had begun (the first one I have ever been in). The ground lights around the temple, about two feet high, were fringed by icicles of even length and spacing, much like the fringe on a frilly leather coat. Ice coated the bare limbs of the trees and shrubs as well. With the light sparkling through the ice, like prisms, it added to the beauty of the stained glass. Judy exclaimed that it was “more beautiful than Temple Square at Christmas.”

We were asked to be the witness couple. This is only the second time Judy and I have been the witness couple. The other time was many years ago in the Salt Lake Temple on a weekday in a small session. There were only about nine people in the session, perhaps the smallest temple session I’ve ever been to. We were early and had time to sit in the room and meditate. As we saw woods in the temple film, I thought of the fox outside. The celestial room faces the open, grassy field, to the south of the temple.

Sam:  The first thing we did this morning was to go to the place of the printing of the first 5,000 copies of the Book of Mormon. It is on Main Street in the business district of Palmyra. The first copies were made by a man named E. B. Grandin, he was in his early twenties. The location has some of the first copies of the Book of Mormon. It also has the press used and a lot of the original materials. There were threes stories to the press, with some rooms added on around the press. It was cool to be in the same place that Joseph would have been, to walk where he walked.

From there we went to the place where Joseph’s log cabin, the sacred grove, and the frame house are. We started out in the visitor’s center, where an old missionary started our tour. We went into the log cabin where Joseph would have left through the back door to go into the grove. It is very small and would have been freezing in the winter back then. We went upstairs to where Joseph would have seen and learned from the angel Moroni. I desired to walk through the grove alone, so I left my family early and headed into the grove.

The weather was very cold, clouds were overhead and it was drizzling slightly. The trees were bare and the floor of the grove was covered in a blanket of damp leaves. It is early in the spring, so the conditions are similar to how they were… in 1820… I [later] found my family and we went to the frame house. Joseph’s brother Alvin had started building the house, Joseph and his family finished it after Alvin died.

Clark Chase Farm:  Just east of the temple, 1.5 miles south of the Four Corners intersection in Palmyra or 1.2 miles north of the Armington Schoolhouse. Joseph was digging a well on the Chase farm with Alvin and Hyrum in September 1819 (Willard Chase said 1822) when the seer stone was uncovered. The well was in the NW corner of the field next to the road on the east side of SR 21. Martin Harris said the seerstone helped Joseph translate, as well as the Urim and Thummim.

Trip Journal of Luella Cannon (July 7, 1929):
“Oswego – saw Lake Ontario from here.  Wolcott – loads of pie cherries.  Williamson – turn south here to Palmyra.  More showers.  White lilies in woods, like Easter Lilies, varied fruits & garden stuff. Ate dinner at the “Palmyra Inn”.  Drove on to Hill Cumorah.  Cumorah cut in grass on top of hill, seen from street.  Board on hill saying: ‘The Hill Cumorah ,Property of Church of Jesus Christ of L. D. S.’ (tells of plates being translated by gift & power of God.) On gas station reads: ‘Cumorah (Mormon) Hill On Sept. 22, 1827 J. Smith obtained from this hill gold plates containing the true origin of the Am. Indians.  See book of Mormon & compare with recent archaeological discoveries of America.’ Cumorah Farm across street having rooms for tourists.  Walked on hill in rain.  Saw family of skunks.  One shot at Dr. Bean.  Hit his coat and face.  Went over to farm where Joseph Smith lived when had the vision, saw room where angel appeared to him.  Saw room where translation was commenced – visited grove, and saw fence where he fell…Went out to Palmyra.  Traveled along by Erie Canal for some distance, also saw barges on it today.”

April 4, 2003 (Friday):                    

Drive to Mendon, NY: From the Palmyra Visitor’s Center to Tomlinson Corners is 20.62 miles and 35 minutes.

Tomlinson’s Inn:  NE corner of junction of SR 64 and Boughton Hill Road (CR 41). The owner is contemplating converting it into a bed and breakfast (but has not done so). Here Samuel H. Smith sold a copy of the Book of Mormon to Phinehas H. Young in April 1830. Phinehas read it and then began to circulate it, initially to his father, John Young, Sr., then to his sister, Fanny Murray. Nathan Tomlinson, a convert to Mormonism, owned the inn. Many meetings of the Mendon Branch, organized in the spring of 1832, were held here. Members of the Mendon Branch included John Young, Sr, Brigham Young and wife, Miriam, Joseph Young, Heber Kimball and wife, Vilate, Israel Barlow, Ezra Thayer and Hiram Page.

Heber C. Kimball home site:  Some believe it is west of the Tomlinson Inn on NE corner of SR 64 and Boughton Road. After study of land deeds, a local historian believes it was at 806 Boughton Hill Road, .2 miles east of Tomlinson Corners. Stanley B. Kimball believes it was 1/4 mile east of Tomlinson’s Corners on the north side of Boughton Hill Road. Still being determined. November 1831, Alpheus Gifford and friends were passing through on a visit to Kirtland to see Joseph Smith. Heber and Brigham Young traveled to the home of Phinehas Young to listen to the missionaries preach. Heber was baptized April 16, 1832 when Alpheus Gifford came through again on another visit to Mendon.

John Young home:  The farm and original front portion of the home are located at 981 Cheese Factory Road, 1.6 miles south of Mendon. The barn was removed from here and taken to the Joseph Smith, Sr. farm in Manchester where it was utilized for a reconstruction of a 19th century barn. The back portion of the original home is located at 984 Cheese Factory Road. This is where the entire original home once stood. Owned by the Church, but occupied by private parties. John Young moved to Mendon from Tyrone, New York in 1827. Brigham Young built the home that still exists on this site for his father. John Young was baptized April 5, 1832 in Columbia, PA. John moved to Kirtland in June 1833. His wife, Hannah, joined him two years later. When the Youngs left Kirtland to follow the Church to Missouri, Hannah returned to her family in New York.

Brigham Young home and mill site:  .2 miles east of John Young home on Cheese Factory Road and 450 yards south of the road on a small stream. The site is owned by the Church. Nothing left of what was a two story structure (a mill on the bottom and a dwelling on top). Brigham moved to Mendon in the spring of 1829. In the spring of 1830, Brigham first saw a copy of the Book of Mormon, a copy Samuel Smith placed with Phinehas Young, Brigham’s brother, in April 1830. Brigham also mentioned reading from a second copy of the Book of Mormon Samuel Smith left with his sister, Rhoda Young Greene in June 1830. Elder Eleazer Miller and other elders from Columbia, PA completed the conversion process. Brigham was baptized April 15, 1832 in Mendon by Eleazer Miller, in his own mill stream. Brigham’s wife, Miriam, died of consumption (tuberculosis) at the Kimball home on September 8, 1832, while Heber and Brigham were on a mission in the surrounding townships. In September 1833, Brigham moved to Kirtland.

John P. and Rhoda Young Greene’s home site:  In 1827, John P. Greene and Rhoda Young Greene lived very close to Heber C. Kimball, within 100 yards. Lucy Mack Smith says that Samuel H. Smith called on the Greene family in Bloomfield (7 or 8 miles south of Mendon) and left a copy of the Book of Mormon in their home in June 1830.

Drive to Kirtland, OH: Budget Inn, Farmington, to Days Inn - 247.65 miles, 4 hours and 2 minute.

Cleveland-Days Inn Willoughby
4145 State Route 306
Willoughby, OH 44094
Cost: $39.60 + 10% tax = $43.56

Days Inn to Visitor’s Center - .8 miles and 1 minute.

Kirtland Visitor’s Center: 7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland, OH 44094
New film dramatizes events in the 1830s. Guided tours of the Whitney home, Whitney store and Johnson Inn begin here.

Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney Home: Near the intersection of SR 306 and SR 615 (Chillicothe Road)
The following 6 sections of the D&C were revealed here: 41-44, 70 and 72.
Adjacent to the Whitney store and restored to its original condition. After arriving in Kirtland, Joseph and Emma lived here for several weeks. Before the church was introduced to Kirtland, the Whitneys were in their home, about midnight, “praying to the father to be shown the way.” The spirit rested upon them and a cloud overshadowed the house. They heard a voice out of the cloud saying: “Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming!” When Joseph and Emma arrived in Kirtland in early February 1831, they went to the Whitney store. Joseph “sprang from the sleigh and entered the…Whitney Store. Extending his hand to [Newel Whitney] as though he were a familiar acquaintance, Joseph said, ‘Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man!” Astonished, Newel said he didn’t know the stranger. Joseph responded, “I am Joseph the Prophet. You’ve prayed me here, now what do you want of me?” Joseph and Emma lived in the Whitney home. It was here that Joseph healed Alice Johnson of chronic rheumatism.

The Newel K. Whitney Store was one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting. 17 Sections of the D&C were revealed there: (78), 84-98 and 101, including the oath and covenant of the priesthood and the word of wisdom. Much of the inspired version of the Bible was also completed there. It was established in 1826 as the first store in the Kirtland area. Joseph and Emma Smith arrived at the store in early February 1831. In December 1831, Newel K. Whitney was called as the second bishop of the church and used part of the store to organize goods used to help the needy. Joseph and Emma lived at the store and used a room as an office from September 12, 1832 to about February 1834 (almost a year and a half). It was church headquarters from the fall of 1832 through the winter of 1833. As you first walk in, you go into the store and post office (on the west end of the ground floor). It is stalked with goods of the era. To the southeast, on the ground floor, is the trading and supply room, which provided storage for items, including the bishop’s storehouse as Newel acted as bishop.

 Emma’s kitchen was in the northeast corner and stairs led from there up to Joseph’s and Emma’s apartment on the second floor. Joseph’s and Emma’s bedroom was located in the northwest corner upstairs and was where Joseph Smith III was born on November 6, 1832. In the southeast corner, upstairs, was the room which served as the Church’s administrative headquarters, Joseph did much of the inspired translation of the Bible there, and in 1833, completed one phase of the inspired version. Joseph received his revelations in this room, including Section 89.

In the northeast corner, right next to it, was the room where the School of the Prophets was held, beginning in the winter of 1833. This room was built at the request of Joseph and Levi Hancock did the work. The Word of Wisdom was revealed as a result of the smoke filled meetings taking place in these rooms (see the statement of Brigham Young on February 27, 1833). The Father and Son appeared during at least one session of the School of Prophets. Sister Coombs of Monroe, Utah, our guide, related the account of Zebedee Coltrin, who wrote: “Joseph asked if we saw him. I saw him and suppose the others did and Joseph answered that is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother. Afterward Joseph told us to resume our former position in prayer, which we did. Another person came through; he was surrounded as with a flame of fire…The Prophet Joseph said this was the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. I saw Him.”


[W]e went into the Newel K. Whitney Store. We saw the place where he sold all of his things, then we went upstairs, where the real meat of the significance for the store lays. Upstairs there is a room where Joseph and Emma would sleep. Then we went into the “revelation room.” There was a big table (the original one) and chairs (original, also) around it. It was awesome to be in the room where… much of the doctrines of our church were born. ..We continued into the room where Joseph conducted the school of the prophets. It was a very small room, with many benches in it. Here the first leaders of the church would sit, listen, and learn from the prophet. Here the word of wisdom (section 89:18-21) was first enacted. We left that building and went to a last visitor’s center and spent some time there. We then left and drove up past the Kirtland temple, got some food, then went to the hotel.”         

Warren Parrish home:  Immediately north of the Whitney store on the east side of Chillicothe Road (closed to the public).
One of Joseph’s clerks. Wilford Woodruff was a missionary companion of his in the southern states and lived in this home both before and after his marriage to Phoebe Carter. Warren was involved with the Kirtland Safety Society and was charged with embezzling $25,000 from the society and contributing to its downfall. He left the Church  and became a supporter of David Whitmer, President of the Church of Christ.

John F. Boynton home:  North of the Parrish home, close to the SW bank of the east branch of the Chagrin River (closed to the public).
One of the original apostles. Disfellowshipped in 1837 and finally excommunicated. Visited Brigham Young in Utah in 1872 but never rejoined the Church. Died in Syracuse, New York in 1890.

Tannery site:  East of the Whitney store and on the other side of a lot that belonged to Sidney Rigdon (a replica). Consisted of several poles that supported a roof to cover vats in which skins were soaked. It took nearly a year to tan a hide well. Purchased by the Church in 1833 as part of the united order. Sidney Rigdon, a tanner by trade, was appointed steward over it.

Ashery site:  Across the street (south) of the Whitney store and south of the schoolhouse (a replica). Four corner posts that supported a roof and that covered a furnace and vat. The ashes of hardwood burned in the furnace were mixed with water before being reheated. As the moisture evaporated, the mixture became potash. Potash was used to make soap, fertilizer, glass and medicines and to clean wool. When the Kirtland and Missouri united orders were separated into two different orders on April 23, 1834, the ashery was deeded to Newel K. Whitney who had been the former owner. Orson Hyde assisted him (and did so as early as 1826).

John Johnson Inn: Diagonally across the street from the Whitney store. Purchased by the Church in 1833 and when the Kirtland united order was reorganized in 1834, John Johnson was designated as the steward. The Kirtland edition of The Evening and Morning Star was published here following destruction of the press in Independence, Missouri in December 1833. The Egyptian mummies were displayed here and the Twelve Apostles left from here on their first mission on May 4, 1835. Joseph Smith, Sr. was called as the first patriarch of the Church here. Operated by John Johnson in 1833. The first brick building in Kirtland, built by Peter French in the mid 1820s. Reconstructed on the original site. Today is a modern resource center with displays, interactive exhibits and video presentations.

Trip Journal of Luella Cannon (July 10, 1929):
“Waited while line of barges went under bridge on Erie Canal.  Rode along Erie Canal past Athol Springs.  Ate in Silver Creek Restaurant.  Yellow brick tourist houses.  Loads of grapes.  Many cherries, currants, garden stuff.  A change in scenery from Eastern N.Y.  Speedometer 11111.  Passed N.Y. & Pennsylvania line at 5:35 D.S. time.  Following Lake Erie all way.  Reached Erie, Pa at 6:03.  Crossed Ohio line 7:03 D.S.T. Ashtabula. Geneva – Prettier through here than for sometime today.  Man in service station said that been raining here for some time.  All day weather has been marvelous, even very cool when we have stopped, yet sun shining brightly & atmosphere clear.  Painesville, a very pretty place, more trees & shrubs.  5 miles from Painesville turned off for Kirtland.  Hilly, beautiful & green.  Temple on hill, cemetary across street to side.  Old home of Sidney Rigdon across street.  Three of streets names same as of old – Joseph, Whitmer, Rigdon. Three stories in temple.  Pulpits in both ends on two stories. One end for Aaronic, one for Mechizedek Priesthood”.

April 5, 2003 (Saturday):                

Isaac Morley Farm: one mile NE of the Whitney store on the north side of SR 615 (Chillicothe Road). Isaac Morley was one of the earliest settlers in Kirtland. By 1831 he owned about 80 acres and a religious communal group known as “The Family” lived on the farm. Many converts to the Church, such as the Wights, Billing and Murdocks had been members of the group. In response to D&C 41:7 where it was revealed that Joseph should have a house built in which he could live and translate, Isaac began building a home on his farm for Joseph and Emma. They lived here from March to September 1831 after which they moved to Hiram. Emma gave birth to twins, Thaddeus and Louisa, who lived just three hours. Soon after these deaths, John Murdock’s wife, Julia, died and Joseph and Emma adopted the newborn Murdock twins, Joseph and Julia. The following 13 sections of the D&C were received here: 45-50, 52-56, 63-64. After a brief stay with the Whitney family, Joseph and Emma lived here for 6 1/2 months. The fourth general conference of the church was held here, where the first High Priests of the church were ordained.

Joseph Smith Variety Store site:  Across the street from his home on east side of Chillicothe Road, south of the Whitney store and north of the temple. Joseph only operated the store a short time. He often allowed people to buy on credit and some felt that a real prophet should let them off without paying. Joseph closed the store rather than let it cause ill feelings among the members.

Joseph Smith Jr. Home: West side of Chillicothe Road, .2 miles south of Whitney store and 100 yards north of the temple. The center section of the house is believed to have been part of the original residence. The first home owned and occupied by Joseph and Emma in Ohio (from 1834 to 1837). The Kirtland Stake was formally organized here on February 12, 1834, with the selection of the first High Council of the Church. The following 5 sections of the D&C were received here: 102-104, 106 and 108. Frederick G. Williams Smith was born here June 20, 1836. Zion’s Camp may have been initiated here. Michael Chandler visited here in July 1835 and sold four Egyptian mummies and two rolls of papyrus.

.34 miles and 1 minute from the Visitor’s Center to Kirtland Temple

Kirtland Temple: 9020 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland. The following 4 sections of the D&C were received here: 109-110, 112 and 137. Dedicated in early 1836, accompanied by heavenly manifestations, including an appearance of Jesus Christ. Priesthood keys were restored here. Cornerstone was laid July 23, 1833 at the southeast corner. President’s Room on west end of the 3rd floor was where many visions were received, including D&C 137. It is also where Joshua Seixas taught Hebrew. The dedication was held March 27, 1836 and 900 to 1,000 people attended. The dedicatory prayer became the pattern for subsequent temple dedications. The Savior, Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared to Joseph and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836. Construction: The frame consisted of oak beams mortised and tenoned together and secured by wooden pins. The timbers measured 10 by 14 inches in diameter and at least 55 feet long. Eight timbers, which aid in supporting the roof, were placed on stone piers in the basement and raised so that they stood vertically 70 feet in the eaves. The walls are two feet thick and over 60 feet high. Sandstone was quarried from the Stannard quarry, under the direction of Joseph Smith. The roof was made of hand split cedar shakes. The floors were 1 1/8 inch walnut boards cut at random widths and lengths. Stucco on the outside walls was composed of crushed limestone mixed with clay and bluish river sand. Dishes and glassware were pulverized and mixed with the stucco to that the walls glistened in the sun. The outside stucco walls were painted with lines to give the appearance of brick. Inside painting, using a pristine white, was under the direction of Brigham Young. Female members, under the direction of Joseph Smith, Sr., made carpets and curtains. Curtains were placed on rollers so that they could be lowered from the ceiling by ropes. When lowered, they divided the main hall into either two or four rooms. Curtains were also placed near the ceilings above the pulpits so that they could be lowered adjacent to the pulpits.

Schoolhouse and Printing Office site: The first lot west (behind) the Kirtland Temple, now covered by landscaping and a parking lot. It was two stories, 30 by 38 feet. The Lord had commanded two buildings, but because of poverty, one was built to serve both purposes (D&C 94). The top floor served as meetinghouse, First Presidency office and Church printing office. The lowest floor served as a schoolhouse. Established in late 1833. Following dedication in December 1834, the School of the Elders (previously School of the Prophets was moved here from the Whitney store and held in the schoolhouse during the winter of 1834 to 1835. The school was moved into the Kirtland Temple in January 1836. Oliver Cowdery arrived with a new printing press December 1835, in obedience to D&C 94:10-12. The first edition of the Doctrine and Covenents, second edition of the Book of Mormon and first hymnbook were printed here. The Evening and Morning Star, Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times were also printed here. On February 14, 1835, the three witnesses chose the first Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the schoolhouse and ordained the ones that were present. Destroyed by fire on January 16, 1838, apparently by Lyman Sherman, to prevent enemies of the Church from obtaining access to the press. D&C sections 107 (dealing with the duties of various priesthood offices) and 134 were received here.

North Kirtland Cemetery:
Just north of the temple, the “Kirtland Mills Burying Ground” is owned and maintained by the city of Kirtland. Buried here are John Johnson, Oliver Granger, Joseph Coe, Thankful Pratt, and Jerusha Smith, Hyrum’s first wife, who died October 13, 1837.

John Johnson home:  7762 Maple Street (south side), four lots west of the Kirtland Temple (closed to the public). Joseph performed a wedding ceremony for John F. Boynton (a member of the Quorum of the Twelve) here on January 20, 1836. John Johnson moved here from Hiram. His money made possible the purchase of the land on the plateau and flats, including the temple.

Vinson Knight and William Marks home:  7741 Joseph Street (NW corner of Joseph and Cowdery Streets - closed to the public). Vinson Knight was a counselor in the Bishopric in Kirtland and died in Nauvoo. William Marks was President of the Kirtland Stake and Nauvoo Stake. He followed James J. Strang and later assisted in founding the RLDS Church and became a counselor to Joseph Smith III.

Hyrum Smith home:  9097 Chillicothe Road (east side, where Joseph Street joins into it - closed to the public). The original home has been moved from the foundation and attached to the modern structure. The front part of the home is newer and stands on the original foundation.

Kirtland Safety Society site:  Lot south of the temple (about where the circular walkway is located). The failure led to the apostasy of many and Joseph’s flight from Ohio to Missouri.

Sidney Rigdon home:  East side of Chillicothe Road, SE of the temple and directly across the street from the Kirtland Safety Society site. Restored, two story frame building with two columns extending the height of both stories - closed to the public.

Stone Quarry:
South of the temple on S.R. 306, 2 miles to Chapin Forest, a metro park on your right. Turn right again as you enter the park and in front of you is a quarry pond. Follow the gravel path north, about 200 feet, and find evidence of stone removal on the NW side of the lake. Conspicuous drill holes. Workmen drilled a row of two-inch holes, 10-12 inches apart and then set an iron wedge in each hole. As they struck the wedges with hammers, the rock would split. Joseph served as quarry foreman. The first loads of stone were hauled to the temple site on June 5, 1833. This was Stannard Stone Quarry, one of several sourced for temple stone.

42.67 miles and 48 minutes from Kirtland Visitor’s Center to John Johnson home.

John Johnson home: Located out in the country, with very little in the way of housing around it. It is a very large, two story, white home, with a big red barn and silo behind it and surrounded by extensive green fields. It has a Hiram address, but no town is evident (it is apparently several miles southwest of Hiram). A lonely missionary couple greeted us (it was very cold outside) into a little back room of the house, which may have been a saddle room?). They are Brother and Sister Kesler and she used to babysit for Mom and Dad when we lived on 9th Avenue in Salt Lake. Her husband is from Oregon and I don’t recall her maiden name. She seemed quite emotional about the meeting, even though I don’t think I was born while she was babysitting my older siblings. Brother Kesler was our guide and he was excellent. They have been the primary missionary couple/guides at the John Johnson home since it opened and they are very knowledgeable and feel quite proprietary about it. They only have a very short time before they go home.

15 sections of the D&C were received here: 1, 65, 68-69, 71, 73-74, 76-81, 99 and 133. Most of the revelations were received in one of the upstairs room, including Section 76 on February 16, 1832, when Joseph and Sidney Rigdon saw a vision of the three degrees of glory and the Father and Son. Sections 1 and 133 were received in a downstairs room. John Johnson and his wife Alice, known as Elsa, welcomed Joseph and Emma to their home for a year, from September 1831 to September 1832, and this was church headquarters during that time. There, on March 24, 1832, Joseph was attacked by a mob and dragged into a nearby field and tarred and feathered. His adopted son, Joseph (Murdock) Smith, died 5 days later. Two sons of the Johnsons, Luke and Lyman, were members of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (and may have participated in the mob?). A daughter, Marinda, married Orson Hyde, another member of the Twelve.

There was a secondary kitchen, in an off room, similar to the Newel K. Whitney home. This was used as a summer kitchen so that the heat from the fireplace would not heat up the rest of the house. Through the next door we entered the large, main kitchen. It was something to behold. All of the brownish blond, wood doors, were painted in what almost looked like orange tiger stripes, with occasional curly ques. It was one of the most bizarre kitchens I’ve ever seen, and to think it existed all of those years ago on the frontier. An indication of wealth in those days was the use of bold colors. Bold colors were only available in lead based paint, which was much more expensive. So the Johnson home is full of very bold colors in other places as well. There were turquoise/blue rooms, the revelation room upstairs was a tangerine orange, the Johnson’s upstairs bedroom was a gold/yellow and the floor in the downstairs bedroom where Joseph and Emma slept was squares in a checker board pattern with each square painted a purple, red or yellow.

The highlight of the home was the upstairs revelation room, filled with wooden benches, a table under a window and several chairs on either side of the table. The walls were white, with gaudy tangerine orange trim. Brother Kesler talked about when Section 76 was received by Joseph and Sidney. They were working on the translation of the Bible and came across John 5:29, concerning the resurrection of the just and unjust. Joseph explained that the term “Heaven” must include more kingdoms than one. There were at least ten people in the room. One of them, Philo Dibble, recalled that he “saw the glory and felt the power, but did not see the vision.” Joseph would say, at intervals, “What do I see?” Then he would relate what he had seen or what he was looking at. Then Sidney would reply, “I see the same.” Then Sidney would say, “what do I see”” and would repeat what he had seen or was seeing, and Joseph would reply, “I see the same.” This went on at least an hour (Sidney Rigdon said it lasted five or six hours). This came to be known as “The Vision,” and departed so much from mainstream Christianity  that it was not easily received at first. Brigham Young said that “when the Vision came first to me, it was so directly contrary and opposed to my former education, I said, wait a little; I did not reject it, but I could not understand it.” Soon most members came to understand and believe the concepts and came to revere this vision as one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring ever given.

April 6, 2003 (Sunday):                    [sleep in Willoughby - Days Inn]

Drive to Niagara Falls

Days Inn in Willoughby to Rodeway Inn - 191.37 miles, 3 hours and 7 minutes.

Rodeway Inn At the Falls
795 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Cost: $39.59 + 11% tax = $43.94

Niagara Falls: In April 1836, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt and Freeman Nickerson arrived  at Niagara Falls. Parley wrote: “The leaping of a mighty river  of waters over a perpendicular fall of one hundred and sixty feet, the foaming and dashing of its white spray upon the rocks beneath; the rising cloud of mist with its glittering rainbow, the yawning gulf with its thousand whirlpools; all conspired to fill the contemplative mind with wonder and admiration, and with reverence to the Great Author of all the wonders of creation; while its everlasting roar which may be heard for many miles distant, seemed a lively emblem of eternity.” After visiting Joseph Smith in Kirtland in March 1837, John Taylor, Isaac Russell and other Toronto members stopped east of Niagara Falls, retiring to a secluded spot under a high cliff, just below the falls. “While engaged in prayer, there, within hearing of the mighty cataract, Elder Taylor spoke in tongues for the first time.” He also received special knowledge he kept secret, that he would be called to fill a vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve.

Mission Journal of Edwin Q. Cannon (Sunday, August 25, 1907):
“Arrived in Buffalo N.Y. at 8:35 p.m.  From Buffalo I took a train to Niagra [sic] Falls.  At the Falls in company with Harold Huyde, with whom I traveled from Salt Lake, I went in to the “Cave of the Winds”.[1] Left Buffalo at 10 pm for Boston.”

Trip Journal of Luella Cannon (July 9, 1929):
“Passed by Eastman Kodak plant.  Loads of cherries, gardens, orchards & farm lands.  On to Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario.  Saw point where river comes into Lake O.  Drove to old fort, had good view of Lake Ontario – old, old huts.  Old castle.  This house – “The Castle of Ft. Niagara” built by French, 1726, approximately on site occupied by LaSalle, 1678.  Taken by British, 1759, held by them as base of warfare on Am. Frontier during Revolutionary War.  First occupied by U.S. Aug. 11, 1796, retaken by British Dec. 9, 1812, coming finally May 22, 1815 under flag of U.S.  A bronze tablet on house.  Queer old shutters.  This castle built by French as a fur trading station, roughly hewn oak boards, stone floors & walls.  Canada very close across river.  A newer section where soldier boys in training were engaged.  Youngstown just out of fort.  Rode up east bank of Niagara River – Canada on other side. City of Niagara Falls.  Went on “Maid of Mist”.  Mother wouldn’t go.[2] A wind and cloudy.  Drove across bridge to Goat Island & drove around it.  Then crossed into Canada.  Ate lunch at “Tower Inn” operated by Canadian National Electric Railways. Took rooms at Hotel Clifton overlooking Falls – Saw lights play on Falls, walked around and retired.  Bought fine English rum & butter toffee.”

Trip Journal of Luella Cannon (July 10, 1929):
“Ate at Tower Inn – Drove up & down river.  Drove along river through beautiful Q. Victoria Park seeing rapids, boats wrecked.  Followed Canadian side down to Peace Bridge along Niagara River. Crossed Peace Bridge over River where it comes out of Lake Erie.  Bridge into Buffalo, built to commemorate 100 years peace between U.S. & Canada.  Built by citizens efforts in Canada & U.S.”

Trip Journal of Horace Sorensen (September 9, 1937):
“An overnight trip from New York saw us in Niagara Falls the next morning. We took a sightseeing trip stopping off at each stop to see everything. We had lunch at the restaurant in Queen Victoria Park. We donned long rubber coats and rubber hoods for a ride on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ steamboat going up to the foot of the falls. During the afternoon we had a ride in the aero cable car, crossing the whirlpool in the Niagara River.”

April 7, 2003 (Monday):                   [sleep in Niagara Falls - Rodeway Inn]

Rodeway Inn to airport - 25.16 miles, 30 minutes.

National Car Rental
Buffalo Airport
Return at 10:30 a.m.
Buffalo (BUF ): leave on Delta flight 2032 at 12:50 p.m.
Atlanta ( ): arrive at 2:58 p.m.

Atlanta (): leave on Delta flight 459 at 5:40 p.m.
Los Angeles (LAX): arrive at 7:32 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. It's fun to have the words of your grandparents and our son included here. This was a special trip.