Both the town and the site are called Nauvoo. The historic site is a Mormon community established in 1839 along the Mississippi River in Illinois. My husband visited the town as a child with his family and we've gone twice...both times in November. No crowds but lots of cold! We'll probably make another trip in the future, because we still haven't seen all of the historic buildings.Shockingly, we haven't been to the John Smith house--the leader who brought the Mormons to Nauvoo. Nor have we been to any of the Icarian sites. The Icarians are a different religious group that came to Nauvoo after the Mormons were forced from the town.
The town of Nauvoo boasts Illinois's oldest winery (Baxter's Vineyards established in 1857). We've been there once. Okay, maybe twice!
Our first stop was to the Visitor Center. The Sunstone (below) was recently moved inside of the center. It was part of the original Nauvoo Temple. It's an amazing piece of architecture.
Here's another one along the guided driving tour.
The Sarah Granger Kimball Home is one of my favorite stops. She was president of the Female Relief Society for over 40 years. Of course, I loved all the fiber-related parts of the house. Spinning wheel, braided rug, and a quilt on the bed.
The house tour guide said that the community had two standard-sized rugs. One size for larger rooms and one size that could be used as a runner on the floor or stairs. This was on the stairs at the Kimball house.Unfortunately, I can't remember our tour guides name at the Kimball house. She was fantastic and very knowledgeable. All of the guides at the site are volunteers and commit to six-month or year-long stays. Many of them are older adults, but come as far as Utah or as close as Chicago as this lady was. Technology made their separation easier from their families, as several of them had cell phones and were texting their spouses and kids! :)
The Family Center has a variety of hands-on tasks from baking to rope making to weaving and spinning! Raw wool ready for processing and dyeing. They also processed flax.
A close-up of one of the larger rugs on the loom.
A circular woven rug. I had a hard time taking a picture of this because it stood shoulder-high to me.
Check out these Christmas tree ornaments. They're made from thrums (leftover warp). I had plans to make a whole bunch of these this year. And not a one has been made!
Patterns from the Silversmith Shop. I thought they were so pretty hanging there...so that's the only picture I took at this stop! :( Too bad, because I was totally fascinated with the items they made and swore I was taking up metalsmithing.
A beautiful cow in the field near the Blacksmith Shop. I have no idea what breed this is. Anyone?
Here is one of the blacksmith volunteers. Fun stop where you get a "prairie diamond ring" made from a horseshoe nail.
We also stopped at the Browning Gunshop. Sorry. No pictures again! But John Browning and his son, of the same name, are important figures in the development of firearms.Our final stop at the Nauvoo site was the brickyard which is actually a small room where you look at Xeroxes of brick making. It's too bad that this stop is rather blah as the history of brickmaking is very interesting. Again, you come away with a nice little gift from this stop...a wee brick:
And our final stop in the town of Nauvoo...the winery. Where we were greeted by their guard cat!
Happy Winter, everyone!