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ROAD TRIPPIN' Nauvoo: Living History
Monday January 18, 2016 —
NAUVOO, IL (CBS2/FOX28) - Its known for its quaint main street, fantastic fudge, award winning wines and outdoor stage entertainment that lasts all summer long. But Nauvoo is also one of the most thriving examples of living history to be found anywhere in the Midwest. The incredible white limestone temple on a hilltop overlooking the Mississippi River is a visitors first hint of a town built on faith and steeped in religious history. This is where thousands of people come every year to study, honor and better understand the beginnings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mormons built a thriving community in the 1840s which rivaled the size of Saint Louis and promised to be one of the major gateways to the west. Church members built successful businesses in dry goods, manufacturing and agriculture, watched people from all over the country and parts of Europe gather in their boom town and then suffered such severe religious persecution following the murder of church founder Joseph Smith that they packed only what they could carry in a wagon and crossed the Mississippi in the dead of winter to escape into the Iowa Territory. Today Nauvoo, Illinois is a place where travelers can learn about pioneer life, survival and the early days of the church from descendants of those who actually lived it. Youngsters can ride in a wagon drawn by oxen as they learn about the Saints journey from Illinois, across Iowa and 12-hundred miles to Utah. They can also see what it would have been like on the Mormon trek to make or buy a hand cart when they reached the end of the rail line in Iowa City and then pulled 500 pounds of worldly possessions across the prairie.