If you are on a road trip to see some of the historical sites for the Latter Day Saint Pioneers, one nice stop is the Mormon Trail Center in Winter Quarters. Right near the temple there is a small Visitor Center. You can stop by for a short guided tour. Plan around an hour to snap some photos at the temple and walk through the Mormon Trail Center.
Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints give the guided tour of the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters. We enjoyed their stories and commentary as we walked through the Visitor Center. The museum is specific to this area, and covers the two years between 1846 when the Pioneers left their homes in Nauvoo, and 1848, when they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley. During this time, the Pioneers met awful conditions, as they left early in February of 1846.
Mud and storms delayed their crossing of the plains, and they ended up making a deal with the Native American tribes and the US Government to stay for two years just outside of what was then the “continental US” in the so-called Indian Territory of Nebraska. They built hundreds of cabins and dugouts, all of which had to be removed at the end of their stay.
The tour through Winter Quarters vividly depicts the trials and troubles of the Pioneers. There is plenty of hands-on information, and our little ones did very well with this tour. There was a dark, dismal replica of a cabin, and some beautiful artist depictions in both sculpture and paint.
We really enjoyed the Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters. It is right on the border of Nebraska and Iowa, near Omaha. If you are crossing the country to visit other Church History sites, make sure to stop at Winter Quarters. For current information on hours, visit the Mormon Trail Center website. For other Church History stops, visit our Church History page with a list of all the stops we made on our tour across the country.