Thursday, October 31, 2013


Our time is almost over and there are so many more things I wanted to share with you. 

The brickyard.  This is actually a pottery kiln out front.

Jonathan Browning's home and gun shop.

Lyon Drug.
Wilford Woodruff''s home.  Eight rooms and eight fireplaces.
Willard Richard's home.
Temple missionary housing.  There are 24 buildings providing 60 apartments.  They were built of Nauvoo brick, in the Federalist style, to fit into the Nauvoo landscape.

 The ruins of Thomas Sharp's printing office in Warsaw.
I'm not sure who this little guy is but we found him down by the Mississippi in Warsaw.
Elder Knudsen was quite excited to find this statue in a park in Warsaw.  Does she look familiar?  She's just like the one we have in Washington Park at home.  

Our tornado shelter (in our basement).  Some of our new missionaries saw tornado watches on their phones (we're supposed to wait for the tornado sirens to go off but they didn't know that.)  We came home from our site that day and found 18 people in our house.  It was quite exciting until we found out there was no danger.
The original road to Carthage.

David's Chamber - Joseph's youngest son was born after his father was martyred.  He used to go to this beautiful place to write music and poetry.
The old Cyprus tree - planted in 1857 - it is the oldest tree in Nauvoo. 
It's roots grow above ground.
The old stone bridge.

The "red door".  It is located in Webster which used to be known as Ramus.  This is all that is left of the first LDS church meetinghouse in Illinois.  Ramus is where Joseph received the 130 & 131 sections of the Doctrine & Covenants.

The barges on the Mississippi.
The American Lotus.  It covers the Mississippi with lily pads in the spring.
In the summer they turn into a mass of beautiful white flowers.
In the fall they turn into these really cool seed pods that make really pretty Christmas decorations.
There are hundreds of different kinds of flowers and trees in Nauvoo.  I took tons of pictures but here are just a few.


And sooooooo many more.  You will just have to come to Nauvoo in person and see for yourself what an amazing place this is.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Joseph Smith properties

We live on Parley Street.  If you continue down Parley Street about two miles to the east, you will come to this stuccoed farmhouse.  It is privately owned now, but it was once owned by Joseph Smith.

Before the stucco was put on, the house was made of stone, like this little shed out back.
This was part of Joseph Smith's farm.  We have read that on that last ride to Carthage, Joseph stopped for quite awhile just looking over his land one last time.
The Joseph Smith properties in Nauvoo are owned by the Community of Christ Church (formerly the Reorganized LDS Church).  They have their own visitor's center and conduct their own tours.  They allow pictures outside but not inside.
This is the mansion house.

Here are a couple of views of the homestead.
This is the Bidamon home and stables.  Emma married Lewis Bidamon after Joseph's death.
This is Joseph's Red Brick Store.  It is now a gift shop and you can go inside without taking a tour.  Last March we were permitted to have our "Relief Society Re-enactment" in the upstairs room where the first Relief Society meeting took place.  It was awesome!!!
You can also visit the family cemetery without a tour.  This is the monument over the graves of Joseph, Hyrum & Emma.
Joseph is in the middle
with Hyrum on the left

and Emma on the right.  There are several other family members in this cemetery also.
When we first came here, I was really disappointed that our church does not own these properties, but we have a very good relationship with the Community of Christ Church and I've come to realize - that is a very important thing.



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Riser Boot Shop

George Riser was born in Germany but he and his family migrated to America and settled in a German speaking community in Ohio when he was a boy.  He apprenticed as a shoemaker for 3 years and then worked as a journeyman shoemaker for another year.  By the time he was 22 he owned his own shop.
He learned about the "Mormons" from an employee and was so curious, he packed up his wife and baby son and traveled to Nauvoo.  After they arrived, the baby became very sick and Joseph Smith and Orson Hyde gave the baby a priesthood blessing and he was healed.  This led George and Christiana to be baptized.
George sold his wagon and team of horses to purchase land & build a home and shop.  He was known for making good quality shoes at inexpensive prices. 
Later, the baby died but instead of blaming God, George & Christiana considered him to be the blessing that brought them into the church and their faith remained strong.
The making of shoes is quite a process:  First, measure the foot.
Select a shoe-last that is closest in size
and attach it to the stand up "jack".
Cut a sole from a piece of cowhide
and tack it to the last.

Cut pieces of leather for the heel and the front part of the shoe,
and sew them together to make the "upper".
Soak the upper in water,
and stretch it over the last and innersole.


 From left to right these pictures show:
          1.  Stretch the leather, tack it down and let it dry.
          2.  Poke holes with an awl, and sew with heavy flax thread.
          3.  Remove the tacks, cut an outer sole, glue, & tack with just a few tacks to bottom of sole.
          4.  Punch holes around sole with awl, insert a wooden peg in each hole & pound in.
Cut several outer heels with the heel stamp.
Attach with wooden pegs until at desired height, then add a final layer with glue and nails.
"Tussle" (remove) the finished shoe from the last with a pirate's hook.
Then start all over and make another one exactly like it.  There was no left or right shoe.  They could be rotated like tires on a car so they would wear longer.
If you wanted boots, the process was the same except the leather would be cut higher, after measuring the calf.  These pieces were used to build up a form to the right size.


A pair of shoes at Riser Boot Shop cost $1.75.  Boots cost $5.50.  The average worker in Nauvoo earned about $1.00 per day. 
George and Christianna left with the Saints to go west and he set up the first shoe making business there.