Summer travel remains a focal point of many family outings. A glimpse of the 19th century frontier unfolds in Kirtland, Ohio. Nestled on the eastern branch of the Chagrin River, Kirtland served as an organizational hub of an infant church from 1831-1838. An early handful of Mormons arrived and within a few years numbers swelled to nearly 2000 members. Spiritual leader Joseph Smith was the key figure in this movement. While in Kirtland, his visions, studies, and teachings provided the early guiding principals of the church. Before internal issues, local persecution, and financial upheavals of the era forced a mass exodus, a lasting legacy was left for today's visitors to experience. Whether you visit because of religious, historical, or local interests - Historic Kirtland, Ohio is a local history site worthy of your time. A visitors center will welcome you and provide you with a video and some basic history of the era. The sites listed below will provide visitors with a unique glimpse into a special event in early American history.
Newel K. Whitney Store - The store served as the economic epicenter of the settlement. Baskets, crocks, barrels, and bolts of fabric were purchased or bartered for. Joseph Smith studied and taught in the upstairs portion of the store.
Newel House - Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitley lived in this house. It also served as a temporary lodging spot for Joseph Smith and his family.
Schoolhouse - a replica of the 1819 schoolhouse is on the site for visitors to experience.
Ashery - The processing plant for 'potash' is open for viewing. 'Potash' was a needed ingredient for many manufactured items of the day.
Sawmill - Timber for the historic Kirtland Temple was cut on this site. Other out buildings and homes of the era were constructed with materials cut at the sawmill.
The Morley Farm - Nearby the historic village is the farm where Joseph Smith spent some of his early days. The farm is open for free tours and docents can share historic information of the times.
John Johnson Inn - A research center, this building sits on the original site from the 1800's. The John Johnson House, located on Pioneer Trail in Hiram, Ohio was where Joseph Smith resided from 1831-1832.
The Kirtland Temple - Built by Joseph Smith and his followers between 1833-1836, the church was made from local timber and sandstone. The Temple served as a House of Prayer, House of Learning, and House of Order. It was the focal point of the settlement and the hub of early church history.
Stannard Stone Quarry - Sandstone for the Temple's construction was taken from this site. Construction markings are still visible at the site today.
Historic North Cemetery - A hillside cemetery celebrates the lives of many notable frontiersmen and families of Kirtland.
Historic Kirtland is an experience that is possible year round. Open seven days a week most of the year, the historic village, Temple, or seasonal nativity display are local travel gems to be explored.