Westward Ho to ALHFAM 2014

During the 2013 ALHFAM annual conference, attendees visited Historic Kirtland Village in Kirtland, Ohio. They toured the restored houses and recreated rural industries (including a potash factory!) all originally built by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members between 1831 and 1838. They also toured the Kirtland Temple, built by Joseph Smith, Jr. and his followers and now a National Historic Landmark owned and operated by the Community of Christ Church.

It seems fitting that my trek west for ALHFAM 2014 included a refresher on Ohio history and sites, compliments of the LDS Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. I had a delightful visit with Tiffany Bowles, museum educator and graduate of EIU’s Historical Administration program. She toured me through the Church History Museum’s permanent exhibit, A Covenant Restored. The museum will close for a year starting October 2014 to replace this exhibit. Tiffany has been working with her colleagues preparing for the major project. Some iconic artifacts that will reappear in the new installation include a window from the Kirtland Temple which ALHFAMers saw at the 2013 conference (WindowKirtlandTemple-SLC-ChurchHistoryMuseumJune18-2014) and the printing press from Palmyra, New York that produced the first type-set Book of Mormon (TiffanyPalmyraPress-LDSChurchHistoryMuseumLOWRES18June2014).

In homage to Mormon history and in deference to hunger pains, we walked through Temple Square on a beautiful sunny and cool June Tuesday and ate in the restaurant in the basement of Brigham Young’s home, The Lion House, built in 1856 (adjacent to the Beehive House in downtown Salt Lake City) (TiffanyandDeb-LionHouseLowRes-June18-2014). The rhubarb pie convinced me that I had to find Brock Cheney’s history of Mormon foods (Plain and Wholesome: Foodways of the Mormon Pioneers, University of Utah Press, 2012), well worth the effort.

Many more treats await near Salt Lake City, including This is the Place Heritage Park (aka Old Deseret, the location of an ALHFAM regional conference back in the early 1990s), and Antelope Island State Park, but time is wasting and Calgary calling.

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