Visiting Winter Quarters with the Grandkids

Winter Quarters, a sacred spot in Florence, Nebraska, is where 5 members of my Turley family died of sickness and disease, exposure, and in childbirth.  Today we visited their final resting places and I felt them near.  I brought my grandchildren here to show them their deaths are remembered, our family continued, crossed the plains, and now is thriving and growing.

Here are posts on my Ann’s Stories family history blog about my family members who died here:

Frances Amelia Turley b. 1 January 1825, d. 1 November 1846 in childbirth at Winter Quarters

Sarah Ellen Clift Turley b. 3 May 1817, d. 4 March 1847, Winter Quarters

Winter Quarters Sexton’s Records 26 April to 6 May 1847: Deaths of Hyrum Smith Turley 29 April and Sarah Ellen Clift Turley 4 May 1847

Frances Amelia Turley, age 22, died in childbirth 1 November 1846 at Winter Quarters

I got very emotional as I watched our little children, running and playing so happily here where there was such great loss in our family.  I imagined my ancestors looking down on us and smiling, cheering us on, grateful for this new generation and these bright happy children who are being raised in a good faith-filled home.

How fitting that there is now a temple on this site, where families are bound together for eternity!

The Visitor’s Center here was excellent.  The kids loved looking at all of the displays.

They especially loved looking in this reconstructed log cabin that would have been very similar to how our family members lived when they were here.

Clark really loved seeing the covered wagon and the oxen.  Wow, they were big!

During the time the Saints were making their way across the plains, others came by ship.  Here’s what the births in the ship were like.

This road trip took us 3 days in a van that was packed full.  Simple, really.  I am grateful for those who traveled the hard road in a time when nothing was easy.  I owe my good life to them.  I owe my family to them.

About Ann Laemmlen Lewis

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