Week 7 (25-31 January 2016)
On Tuesday, we visited several other restored homes/stores in Nauvoo: The Merriweather Dry Goods Store & Post Office. Evidently, if you had room for a postal type box you were a postmaster,It was interesting to learn that they didn’t have envelopes, so they would write on one side of the paper-IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, VERTICALLY & HORIZONTALLY…it was insane to try and read the letter. They would then fold the paper and address the opposite side and seal it with candle wax and a stamp. They paid postage on the number of pages; thus the writing both vertically & horizontally on the same side of the paper. Next, we visited the Print Shop, talk about a tedious task of setting type (backwards & upside down) and reviewing what was written-let alone being able to make out what letter you had when you were We learned about UPPER CASE and lower case (that is where the big or small letters were stored in compartments (upper meant standing up against the wall, lower meant laying on the counter). We can’t imagine putting the letters back in the proper compartment because we couldn’t read the small print…there was a particular difficulty with the Ps and Qs-exactly the same shape only opposites.
We then continued on to the Browning Home & Gunsmith Shop. Brother Browning had met the Prophet Joseph in another city, was impressed and followed him to Nauvoo where he set up shop and built the first repeating rifle/handgun.
The process for making a gun was really impressive; from the barrel and its’ rifling’s He developed the first 30 caliber machine gun which was used up through the Vietnam War. He was always faithful to the Church and helped the saints go west. He later set up shop in the Salt Lake Valley and his guns are world renown.
We then proceeded to the Stoddard Tin Shop where we watched the missionary make a tin bucket and other items. It was interesting to see the lantern cases that were made. They would make a family “pattern” in the design of the lantern, which way everybody would know who was coming during the night…the punched holes, etc. in the tin to make theThe tin was punched from the inside (before it was rolled into a lantern) so that the wind did not blow out the candle (very ingenious). The Tin Shop sold stoves for heat at cost, but made their money on the flu pipe.
We then visited the Riser Boot & Shoe Shop. It was interesting to see how they would determine the size of the needed shoe and the process they went through to make the shoe. It would take a good shoemaker about 8 hours to make one pair of shoes that sold for around $1.50 per pair; a pair of boots would take a couple of days to make and would cost around $5.50 per pair. We then proceeded to the Webb Brother’s Blacksmith Shop where we learned about three different, but interconnected processes.
The Wheelwright (made the wagon wheels), the Wainwrights (made the wagon box and under carriage) and the Ferrier (making the remainder of the wagon, horseshoes, etc. Here we saw the missionary make a small horseshoe and, of course, we picked our Prairie Diamond ring (horseshoe souvenir ring). It was really interesting to see all the things that were made in the Blacksmith Shop.
On last stop and we were through for the day: the Seventies Hall (basically a 1830s Missionary Training Center). As the Church began to send out missionaries they would have them come to the Hall and receive instructions concerning the area they were called to serve;traditions, cultures, language and study a kind of standardized missionary lessons as well as increase in knowledge. They would practice teaching/preaching from the pulpit; in general, learning how to be a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On Saturday, we worked the morning shift and then took off for Lake Zurich, IL where Scott, Malia and Corban live. It is about 277 miles from Nauvoo and took about 4.5 hours to travel the distance. We spent Saturday night through Tuesday morning with them and returned home for our evening shift in the Temple Tuesday night (Sharon will describe more of the trip in our next blog update).
We are truly blessed to have been called to serve in Nauvoo. The spirit is so strong and you can feel the spirit of those that lived here. As we learn more about the trials, tribulations, successes, inventions and miracles that happened here to the Church and saints we stand in awe and thank our ancestors and early saints for their sacrifices in following and serving their God. We love the gospel with all of our hearts, we know that God lives, Jesus is the Christ and our Savior and Redeemer, Thomas S. Monson is a living Prophet of God, the Book of Mormon is true and was written for our time, this Church is the kingdom of God here on the earth-this we testify with all of our hearts. We pray that you will all be desirous to gain this same testimony.
Mom & Dad/Nana & Papa/Elder & Sister Shaw