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Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters
Mormon Trail Center WQ-27 Sept 2019.jpg
Front entrance to the museum
Location within Nebraska
Established1997
LocationFlorence neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska, United States
Coordinates41°20′6.88″N 95°57′54.34″W / 41.3352444°N 95.9650944°W / 41.3352444; -95.9650944
OwnerThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
WebsiteMormon Trails Center

The Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters is a museum and visitors' center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in the Florence neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The museum interprets the story of the Mormon Trail along with the history of a temporary Mormon settlement known as Winter Quarters, which was located in the Florence area between 1846–1848.

The museum is located on a bluff above and to the west of the Winter Quarters settlement site and is directly across the street from the historic Mormon Pioneer Cemetery and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple.

History

Early Visitors' Center

Prior to the construction of the current center, a small remodeled house had served as a visitors' center for tourists coming to see Florence and the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery. This center was closed on August 1, 1995 in preparation for the construction of the new museum, and trailers served as a temporary center for visitors during the building process.[1][2]

Current Museum

The new museum, constructed of red brick, has 11,000 square feet of display space and a large lower level. It opened at the end of 1996 with a preview of partially completed exhibits and that year's gingerbread house display.[3]

The museum was dedicated by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley on April 18, 1997.[4][5][6] The dedication was part of that year's sesquicentennial celebration of Brigham Young's Vanguard Company leaving Winter Quarters, trekking across the United States, and arriving in Mexico's Salt Lake Valley in 1847.

In 1998 a life-sized statue of a Mormon handcart family was placed on a round, concrete pedestal in front of the museum.[7] The statue was created by Latter-day Saint sculptor Franz M. Johansen.[8]

Exhibits

Christmas Gingerbread Houses

In 1985 an annual Christmas gingerbread house display was established in the old visitors' center. The annual event continued following the construction of the new museum and has become a popular local tradition, with nearly 300 gingerbread houses on display during the 2018 Christmas season (additional gingerbread houses are also put on display at the nearby Kanesville Tabernacle).[9]

Zion in the Wilderness

The museum opened with an exhibit titled "Zion in the Wilderness - from Temple City to Temple City." The exhibit contains three phases, the first, titled "An American Exodus," interprets the Mormon Exodus from Navuoo, Illinois, along with the story of the Mormon Trail (and its many refugee camps) across Iowa. The second phase, titled "At the Bluff," tells the history of Winter Quarters and surrounding settlements, and the final phase "Gathering to Zion" shares the story of the Mormon Trail from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley.[10][3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Lloyd, R. Scott (July 29, 1995). "New visitors center will tell of exodus, gathering of saints". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  2. ^ Orden, Dell Van (July 20, 1996). "New signs draw visitors to trail center". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Bylund, Elaine (December 14, 1996). "Mormon Trail Center Exhibit Opens: Missionary Choir Performs; Visitors Preview Facility". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Orden, Dell Van (April 26, 1997). "New visitors center is a `living monument'". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  5. ^ Orden, Dell Van (April 26, 1997). "Winter Quarters: Prophet visits 2 main trail sites". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  6. ^ Van Leer, Twila (April 19, 1997). "Pres. Hinckley dedicates visitors center". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  7. ^ "Handcart memorial dedicated in Winter Quarters ceremony". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. September 26, 1998. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Haney, Jeffrey P. (April 20, 1998). "New statue portrays struggle of LDS pioneers". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  9. ^ Hegarty, Aaron (November 18, 2018). "Mormon Trail Center gives 300 carefully crafted gingerbread houses a home for the holidays". Omaha World-Herald. Omaha, Nebraska. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  10. ^ "Center celebrates the 19th century gathering experience". The Church News. Salt Lake City, Utah. November 23, 1996. Retrieved November 2, 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 March 2021, at 10:14
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