May 28, 2014

Historic Nauvoo, Ghost Sign, Fudge and Theater Turned Diner

I had the opportunity to visit the historic town of Nauvoo, Illinois where Joseph Smith led his Latter Day Saints followers to escape religious persecution in Missouri. History tells us that this move to Nauvoo would end with a mob killing Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum.

On a bluff overlooking a bend of the Mississippi River, the settlers built the original Nauvoo Temple in the 1840's. The temple had a fire in 1848 and in 1850 tornado like winds. Today a rebuilt temple on the same site stands.

It took over two and a half years to build this 54,000 square foot building that sits on 3.3 acres. This construction brought many jobs into the area. My brother-in-law worked for over a year as an electrician on this building.

Across the street from the building sits the 
Joseph and Hyrum Smith memorial. 

On the morning of June 24,1844, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum
left their families, homes, and fellow Saints for the last time. Traveling
on horseback, they paused on this bluff. Joseph look admiringly
at the unfinished temple and the city of Nauvoo and declared:

This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens;
little do they  know the trials that await them.

Joseph and Hyrum then continued on to Carthage, Illinois where
they faced legal charges and eventual death at the hand of a mob.

Titled: Calm as a Summers Morning
This bronze statue stands 11 feet height
Sculptors were Stan Watts and Kim Corpany
This statue stands on Wells Street across from Temple Square
The outside of the building has many symbols.
Sun and Stars 
Pentagram windows 
The angle  Moroni stands atop a dome holding
a trumpet and faces West toward the Mississippi 
The bell tower has a clock on four sides
Mormon Temple Square, Nauvoo Illinois
During its six-week public open house, the Nauvoo Temple was visited by 331,849 people eager to see the inside of the extraordinary building.

The Nauvoo Temple was dedicated on the very day and hour of the anniversary of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. The dedication of this Temple was delivered over the Church's encrypted satellite system to Church buildings around the world.

A restored ghost sign for "Bull" Durham smoking tobacco can be found on the side of the Nauvoo Hotel. 

According to the Nauvoo Historical Society's walking tour, the sign was painted during the early 1900's when the building was the Hudson Brother's Meat Market. The sign was last restored sometime in the 1990's.

Across the street in the old Nauvoo movie theater is Papa John's Cafe where visitors and locals can dine on site with homemade cooking. 

The Fudge Factory makes fudge the old-fashioned way, by hand. No machines in this shop, they make one pan of fudge at a time.

Fudge Factory
Each pan of fudge is cooked in copper kettles
and turned out onto the marble slabs to cool
No artificial flavors or preservatives
Delicious, my favorite is chocolate pecan

Nauvoo is a charming town with its renovated, recreated and rebuilt buildings with history at every turn.  While I am not a Mormon and was unable to enter the Mormon Temple,  I did enjoy my brief visit and learned many things.


  1. What an interesting town! I would love to visit some day!

  2. I taught many Mormon children in my long teaching career, and they were always eager to share their faith with me. I even read a series of books about the origin of their belief, and it was fascinating but sometimes far-fetched. I guess some folks could say that about my faith. Thanks for sharing your travel adventures, Paulette. Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  3. Thanks for sharing your trip to Nauvoo. Maybe some day I can visit there too.

  4. I find other people's faiths fascinating Paulette.That looks a beautiful place to visit and such a poignant story.

  5. Very interesting post! Now I need a piece of fudge!!

  6. What a beautiful wee town, and such an interesting history! Now, lead me to the fudge! LOL

  7. I have always heard about it but have never been there. Looks like a great little get away..I need one!