Saturday, July 22, 2017

Sacred Grove, Smith Farm, Grandin Print Shop, Chill and Grill, Canandaigua Lady cruise, Martin Harris home, Hill Cumorah Pageant

Prepare for picture/story overload!  We crammed a lot into our  third day!!

We got to hear several stories as we went to the Smith log home and Smith frame home.
The family had been living in Vermont.  They had two years of crop failure.  The third year there was a frost again and again their crops failed.  God was preparing them to move near to where the Hill Cumorah was so that Joseph could do all that needed to be done.  Joseph Sr. came to New York first. He saw that it was a good place.  So Lucy packs up the family and they begin to head to Palmyra.  They ran out of money halfway to Palmyra and the wagon driver is angry.  Lucy gathers her stuff and they join another family.  Joseph is 10 years old and is still on crutches from his leg surgery.  Joseph was pushed out of the wagon by children in the other family.  They were a couple of miles from Palmyra and there was no way Joseph could have walked that far.  He's worried and sad.  But a man came along and carried Joseph the rest of the way.

The log home is an exact replica.  There were 11 people living here.  It is built on the same foundation with the same materials and the same tools that the Smiths would have used.

The frame home is 85% original.  Alvin and his fiance were building this home to live in.  When he was about half done, he got sick and died.  For quite awhile, the family stayed where they were and didn't work on the frame home because it made them so sorrowful.  But eventually they lived here for about 3 years.

Joseph experienced lots of persecution.  He hid the plates under bricks of the fireplace.  One day a mob was coming.  The family hit pots and pans and yelled.  The mob thought there was a large crowd there and they were scared away.  One night a mob came.  Joseph felt inspired to hide the plates in the bed with his sisters.  He told them to pretend to be asleep.  The mob came in and searched the house but didn't search the girls' bed.

The Smiths were industrious but poor.  A quaker gentelman ended up buying the frame home and renting it to them because they couldn't afford to keep it.  Later the Smiths had to move because he gave the frame home as a wedding gift to his child.

The Sacred Grove

After we visited the Smith Farm and the Sacred Grove, we went to E.B. Grandin's print shop.  I don't think I'd ever heard before that Grandin was only in the printing business for about 5 years.  The missionary that gave us a tour explained the process of printing and compiling a book.  

E.B. Grandin and his wife

I loved reading these testimonies from early Church members.

After the Grandin print shop, we went to Chill and Grill for lunch.  We each got a hamburger and then we got a kiddie cone to share.  Don't worry...a kiddie cone is big.  3 scoops.  A small is 4 scoops.  
Our kiddie cone tipped upside down in a cup.  It's bigger than it looks.  These aren't Arctic Circle size kiddie cones!
Next we headed to the small (but beautiful) town of Canandaigua...just a few miles from Palmyra. On the way, we saw this cool, historic train and I stopped to get a photo. We took a 90 minute, narrated paddle boat ride on the Canandaigua Lady.  It was absolutely beautiful weather and beautiful scenery! 

The Canandaigua Lady is a true stern wheeler...meaning the 2 paddle wheels are the boat's only source of power.  It was built in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1984.  It was a tour boat in Wisconsin from 1984-1989.  It's a flat bottom boat.  It's maiden voyage on Canandaigua Lake was on June 10, 1989.

Canandaigua was incorporated as a city back in 1789.  It's the county seat.  There used to be a trolley that would come to the end of the pier.  It brought people all the way from D.C.  It also transported people and cargo from the pier to different places along the east coast.

This is Squaw Island.  It's the only island in the finger lakes.  The native people (Senecas) believe their origin was on a hill here by Canandaigua Lake.  It's considered a sacred place for them.  George Washington sent a general who claimed this land from the Seneca as consequence of them siding with the British in the Revolutionary War.

There are 11 natural lakes made during the glacier ice age in the finger lakes region.  (5 are considered finger lakes).  Seneca is the deepest, Cayuga is the longest.  Canandaigua is the most expensive lakeside property in the US.  (Lake Tahoe is second.)

Canandaigua Lake is used as a reservoir to provide drinking water.
In the finger lakes region, the higher the coastline/cliff edge, the deeper that area of lake is.

One of the things I loved about upstate New York is that there is so much history...and it's marked.  We would see signs telling you that a house had been part of the Underground Railroad.  Or memorials for the Civil War, WWI, ETC.  Or signs explaining that that land once held the town's one room school house.  There are signs all over telling you little tidbits about the history of that spot.
After the paddle boat ride, I drove us to Martin Harris' farm in Palmyra.  I'd worn Ella out and she fell asleep.  I decided to let her sleep as there aren't tours of the Martin Harris Farm.  I just read the signs and took a few photos.  (I did ask her later if she wanted to drive by to see it and she said no.)

In Palmyra there is a trail that walks along this wetland/swamp area.  Ella was still asleep so I didn't walk along the trail.  I just parked right next to the wetland and walked the 5 feet over to look at it.  I saw two turtles but they dived into the water before I snapped a picture.  I stood there silently for about 10-15 minutes, but they didn't emerge.  Another thing I love about the east is how green everything is.  It's absolutely beautiful.  There are lakes and rivers and wetlands and trees and flowers everywhere!

Cool dragonfly on the grasses

Then we headed to the Hill Cumorah pageant.  Ella was still asleep so we stayed in the car for about an hour to let her sleep.  Finally, I woke her up so we could go get seats.
I think it would be so neat to be in the Hill Cumorah pageant some day.  As you are sitting and waiting, the cast members come out in costume and talk to you.  It sounds like such an incredible experience!

Nephi (in the blue and red chevron) with a Lamanite in red

As I was sitting there, I looked around at all the people in the crowd.  I'm sure there were some investigators...but I think we were told that there were seats for 9,000.  To see so many people, most of whom believe as we do, was very inspiring and comforting.  There may be times when we feel lonely or sad or feel ostracized by the world...but in reality there are so many who live and believe as we do.  We may sometimes feel as if we are standing alone and there will be those who try to protest what we believe or convince us that we are wrong, but in reality "they that be with us are more than they that be with them." (2 Kings 6:16)  Sidenote:  I am not intending, in any way, to say that those who are not LDS are not good people or that everyone who believes differently will oppose us.  There are so many good people in this world of all different faiths/no faith.  But it felt so comforting to see so many others who belong to my faith.  In addition, just knowing that there are others who believe as I do is not why I believe what I do.  I would still believe if I was the only person in my city or country.  My faith is not a result of knowing that others believe as I do.  But it is comforting. 

It was a busy but really wonderful day.  I am not really able to easily put into words the feelings and thoughts that I had as Ella and I went to each of these remarkable places.  And I had a testimony of Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon before this trip.  But it was wonderful to have the spirit confirm my testimony again and to share these experiences with my daughter!