My Little Corner of the Net

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nauvoo Illinois Trip

We took a family road trip to Nauvoo Illinois.  They have a great history important to the Mormon faith and many great displays and exhibits of how people lived in the 1840's along the banks of the Mississippi river.  Each night we were entertained by live music, comedy and plays.  It was a trip that we will remember for quite a while.

This was a model of the "Mansion House"   it showed how the house used to stand with hotel rooms in a wing on the back.  The wing has since been removed and the house restored and decorated with period furniture and artifacts.

We took a walking tour of the city.  This was our tour group entering the "Mansion House"  This house was build for the First President of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith and his family constructed in 1843. ( My wife in pink, son in grey and daughter taking up the back of the line.)

This is another picture of the model of house.  It was built 1"= 1'-0" scale.

There was a huge model of the city of Nauvoo as it appeared in the early 1840's in one of the visitors centers.  The Mississippi river winds around the city and the lighted area on the hill highlights the Temple.

The original temple was destroyed by angry mobs that drove the early Mormon settlers out of the area.  The new temple was reconstructed and dedicated in 2002.  The exterior is an exact replica of the original Greek Revival building, but the interior has been redesigned to accommodate modern uses.

We spent some time in the Family Living Center and learned how people lived in the middle 1800's.  Here is picture of my son taking part in a presentation that showed how rope was made.  Other displays showed how the early pioneers made items like wooden barrels, bread, pottery, fabric, rugs and candles.

There were many other great displays and restored buildings.  The Scovil Bakery was in this small building.    The shop originally sold breads and sweets and even did "marriage cakes".  We were served gingerbread cookies on the tour.

This was the large fireplace inside the shop ( note all the cookie cutters )

The bakery has a dry sink and an island for production

There was a summer kitchen around back because it was too hot to cook in the main building during the summer months.  The interior is shown below.

 Not far from the summer kitchen was the outhouse.

Other building of interest included the first hotel in the area, the Nauvoo House

The cabin below (right) was the first house of the president of the church, as you can see it was added onto a few years later (left)

 I liked this double seater 'his and hers' outhouse at one property.

We also viewed a presentation in a tin shop where they showed how everyday objects were made including these lanterns.  Each family had a different pattern punched into the lanterns so that they could tell them apart.


Here is a picture of me and the kids in front of the Heber C. Kimbal house which has been lovingly restored.  I also came across some of the restoration drawings.

 Notice the solid wood gutter detail above

 This was the Brigham Young home and its two additions.  

This complex of buildings below was the Jonathon Browning Home and Gun Shop.  He became famous for inventing and patenting the repeating rifle which lead to the invention of the machine gun among other things.  In addition to the home being restored it has a large display of firearms.

 Nauvoo also has this famous building known as the Red Brick Store.  The original building was torn town long ago, but this reconstruction was built to it's exact dimensions.

The upstairs area is served as a meeting room and community center and the downstairs contains a general store.  Notice the Mississippi River in the background.

We also visited the Webb Brothers Blacksmith Shop and watched a presentation on how wagon wheels, horse and ox shoes were made

The blacksmith pointed out that several of the artifacts hanging from the ceiling were found during excavations around the site.

Another famous spot was the Nauvoo Brick Yard.  We watched a presentation on how bricks were made.  It took around 40,000 bricks to make one house 3 wythe thick.

Each family was presented with an embossed brick to help remember what we had seen.

I learned so much about life in the 1800's.  It made me appreciate the modern conveniences that we tend to take for granted.


  1. It looks like you all had an amazing trip. Thank you for sharing your photos - I love dipping back in history. The His and Her outhouse made me laugh =0P

  2. Hello Troy,
    What an amazing trip. thank you for sharing the amazing pictures. What wonderful information and beautiful places you saw.
    Big hug,

  3. I love trips like these! I'll have to put this on my list of places to visit. Thank you for sharing! :D

  4. Sound s very interesting, thank you for sharing.

  5. Hi Troy,
    Great post, I love the style of the Mansion and Kimbal Houses. They are very similar to the Georgian
    and Federal houses here on the East Coast.
    Thanks for sharing,