Church to Close Pennsylvania Historical Site for Reconstruction

  • 9 June 2014

Planned improvements include a reconstruction of the home where Joseph and Emma Smith lived.

Article Highlights

  • The Church historical site in northeast Pennsylvania is closed starting May 2014 for reconstruction until the site is dedicated next year.

A few years ago, the Church announced that it would restore the historical site in northeast Pennsylvania where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored and most of the Book of Mormon was translated in 1829.

Planned improvements include a reconstruction of the homes of Joseph and Emma Smith and Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, Emma’s parents; a new structure that will serve as a visitors’ center for the site and meetinghouse for the local branch of the Church; and improvements to the natural settings where John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and where Joseph and Oliver baptized and ordained each other. In addition, the route of the state road through the site will also be adjusted to improve the safety and sanctity of the site.

Major construction will require closing the entire site to the public from May 2014 until the site is dedicated next year. For everyone’s safety, individuals and groups are asked not to visit the site during this construction period. Church media outlets will notify the public once a dedication date is set.

A sculpture of the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receiving the Aaronic Priesthood already exists on the 90-acre site. Plans for new monuments are being designed.