We did a three week tour through the Midwest and saw almost every LDS Church History site. Almost all of the sites are run by missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but a few, like the Kirtland Temple, are in other hands. On our trip, we picked up a flier at an LDS site for another spot run by the Colesville Restoration Project. This site has two historic homes that are not run by the Church, which make them a bit unique. We decided to drive out to the Joseph Knight Home and Josiah Stowell Home.
First, though the site is not run by the Church, LDS members run the site. In fact, it is proctored by the descendants of the Knight Family. We had a really good experience at these homes, but you have to call ahead to get a tour. The number to call is 607-595-0732. Plan about an hour to visit both homes in Nineveh, New York.
Joseph Knight Home
Our tour started at the home of Joseph Knight. The Knight family, which included Newel Knight, was very friendly to Joseph Smith. They allowed him to stay and provided a lot of money and resources as he translated the Book of Mormon. The Knight home is original, and we were met by docents in period dress. They were very knowledgeable about the history of the home and how it came to be a historical site. They also knew a lot about the Knight family. We walked through the home both upstairs and downstairs, and saw the rooms where Smith lived and worked.
Josiah Stowell Home
After we finished at the Joseph Knight home, we climbed in the car and followed the tour guides to the Josiah Stowelll (or Stoal) Mansion. This home is much larger and seems a lot more modern. It is quite a contrast between the cabins of the time that we’d seen at other Church sites. Stoal was also a friend of Joseph and gave him support. Though he didn’t follow the Saints as they left Colesville, he stayed friendly with Joseph Smith.
The main things that we loved at the Josiah Stowell home were the artifacts relating to Joseph and Emma. There were some amazing pictures, and a bedroom where they spent their honeymoon. It was while staying in the Stoal Mansion that Joseph and Emma were married. The actual mantle piece that they were married in front of is on display in the home. If you are interested in Joseph and Emma’s relationship, this is an important stop on your Church History tour.
For more information about these tours and where they are located, visit their website. And check out our post about all of the stops along our Church History tour.