Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Historical and Genealogical Tour of Nauvoo Illinois

Years ago, Jill wanted to go to Nauvoo, especially to take her parents there. My parents also have wanted to go... so last week we all headed off and got our 'fix' of the "Spirit of Nauvoo".

The trip went off great - flight to St. Louis, dinner down by the famous Arch, then a van ride to Hannibal, MO, and then on to Nauvoo.

We had lots of time to see all the sights, attend all the events, watch the shows, go on horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides, and see all the exhibits.

The highlight was the 'Nauvoo Pagent' - simple superb.

We found both sets of our ancestors owned property in Nauvoo, and probably knew each other. It would have really amazed them to know their descendants ended up marrying, and then with our in-laws returning to where they once lived.

The Church has done a lot of re-construction, and they have done a wonderful job. The place is beautiful, clean and makes you want to live there.

It's hard to imagine that 160 years ago this was a bustling city of 12,000, second only to Chicago in Illinois. Without the reconstruction there would be a mere handful of houses left on the thousands of 1-acre plots that used to all be filled.

It was kind of like a Mormon version of Colonial Williamsburg - with people in period costume, exhibits and buildings reflecting how they once lived back in the 1840s.

We saw Gunsmith, Blacksmith, Tinsmith, Wainwrights, Bakeries, Printers, Farmers, Brickyards, Rope making, candle making, coopering, weaving, etc. - I loved learning of how they lived and worked back then.

We did get a bit 'lost' when I faithfully followed the directions "Annie" the GPS gave for travelling from Nauvoo to Carthage... it sent us way out through and extra 20+ miles of farmland. Around this area of Missouri and Illinois there is farming to the horizon. Hundreds of miles of flat farms in every direction. With NO IRRIGATION! For those of us in the West this is an anachronism. We don't have any growth, any green things, without irrigation. There, they just let the rain take care of it all. Green everywhere, trees, grass, corn, etc. Green, green, green. But we missed having mountains...

Another thing I missed last week. Connectivity!

I'm used to having my cell phone work and my laptop to have Internet when I'm in my hotel. In Nauvoo the only time the cell phone worked was if I was by the Mississippi River and would catch a cell tower from the other side. No quick 'look ups' of items on my iPhone. And then at night I couldn't get my e-mail or do any work because the Internet didn't work in our hotel room - even holding my laptop outside didn't help. So I had to go across the street over to the main hotel to even check my e-mail... this is where you say something like 'poor Keith'....

But this week I'm back 'in the saddle' again - teaching a class in San Jose all week. I kind of liked being on vacation the last 3 out of 4 weeks - one could get used to that lifestyle. Oh... I do need to bring in money to live on still - bummer.

Mississippi Paddle wheel Boat returning in Hannibal, MO

Sunset over the Mississippi

Ken and Bev Uptain with the Perchon Draft Horses - over 2,000 lbs each

Keith and Jill at the Mississippi

Browning's Gunsmith Shop - His son invented the Browning Automatic Rifles

Rebuilt Nauvoo Temple - Original destroyed by Fire and Tornado

My Parents and Jill's Parents overlooking the Mississippi in Hannibal, MO

One of the Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

View of Temple from the 'city'


Karrissa Winward said...

I am glad you had a great trip.

Gram said...

Thanks for the great trip and the posting of the photos. We are happy you were the driver, even if "Annie" led you astray. We found Cartage after all and that also was one of the highlights of the trip.

Gramps said...

It was "sweet" using an Elder Parsons word. Thanks for your time, patience, and being a great guide, husband, and son.

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