After breakfast at the Nauvoo Family Inn and Suites, we went to the Stake Center where we learned about the Bushman family’s arrival in Nauvoo in 1842.
Then we loaded into 2 buses for our field trip to the farms where the Bushman Family lived. One of my reunion jobs was to prepare the bus notes for each of our field trips. I’ve posted those notes and information about each field trip on my Ann’s Stories blog and will share the links here.
You can read all about the farms where the Bushmans lived and neighboring farms here:
The farms surrounding Nauvoo are now all planted in soybeans and corn. They go on for miles in every direction.
Flags like this one marked the spot where the farm where the Bushmans worked started and stopped.
This map shows the 2 farms where the Bushman family lived:
I later found this corner in Old Nauvoo very interesting–a demonstration of what the prairie grass was like. Glaciers originally covered Illinois and flattened the land. These glaciers left behind rich deposits of dark soil, full of organic matter. Farming here was excellent. The land Martin Bushman farmed was rich and fertile. We don’t know if the land needed to be cleared of prairie sod first. Early settlers had a hard time turning the soil. Cornelius Lott (who farmed the neighboring Joseph Smith Farm) said the prairie land “had to be broken up by strong teams, consisting of four or five yoke of oxen.”
This is what the prairie sod and grass looked like. Children could get lost in it.
Our next stop was the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center where we watched a film about Old Nauvoo and looked at the displays. We picked up sack lunches there at noon, then had some free time this afternoon to explore the restored homes and establishments in Old Nauvoo.
John and I took a couple of hours this afternoon to go to the temple. It was glorious. It’s been 20 years now since this temple was dedicated. And I’ve been waiting that long to enter here. My ancestors worked on the original temple, hauling stone. The women helped too. They made covenants with God here and because of their faith, my life has been blessed.