A trip to Nauvoo is a journey through both geography and history. A good guide book can make it not only easier, but also more enjoyable and educational.
THE LDS FAMILY TRAVEL GUIDE: Independence to Nauvoo, by Becky Cardon Smith, Granite Publishing, $14.95.
Smith starts out with a section on planning your trip, including tips on how much time to allow for various sites, suggestions on where to say, figuring costs, what to take, what to do before you go. She also includes a brief church history overview.
Sites covered include Independence, Liberty, Haun's Mill, Adam-Ondi-Ahman, Hannibal, Nauvoo, Carthage and others. Each section provides details on how to get there, planning your time, local sight-seeing tours, background stories, where to find ATMs, shopping, recommended restaurants, lodging and camping options, nearby church services. There are also pages for you to jot down your own notes. Pictures and maps are also helpful.
OLD MORMON NAUVOO AND SOUTHEASTERN IOWA: Historic Photographs and Guide, by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel and T. Jeffery Cottle, Fieldbrook Productions, $14.95.
The book begins with a brief history of Nauvoo as well as an overview of Nauvoo today. The city is divided into eight guided tours, each set off with clear, easy-to-follow maps. Sites are designated with markings to denote "no present standing structure," "standing structure or marker" and "standing structure open to public."
The old photos are a lot of fun. Historical background about each site is included.
Tours of surrounding communities include Carthage, Webster (Ramus in the Mormon era), Quincy, Montrose and others.
SACRED PLACES, Volume Three: Ohio and Illinois, ed. by LaMar C. Berrett, Deseret Book, $19.95.
The book includes sites related to LDS history and important sites not related to LDS history, both clearly marked.
The Illinois section, written by Donald Q. Cannon, provides a brief history of the church in the area. There are also lots of illustrations and several maps. Nauvoo is divided into 12 separate walking and/or driving tours, starting at the Visitor's Center and ending with Parley and Water Streets. Brief descriptions of sites on each tour talk about the site as it is and as it was.
Beyond Nauvoo, the state is divided into geographic regions including other sites in Hancock County (Carthage, Ramus, Big Mound, etc.); Northeast (Monmouth, Chicago); East (Walnut Grove); and Southeast (Quincy, Zelph Mounds, Cahokia).
THE TRAVELERS' GUIDE TO HISTORIC MORMON AMERICA, by R. Don Oscarson and Stanley B. Kimball, Publishers Press, $10.
Now in its 23rd printing, and updated in 2000, this book provides a succinct state-by-state guide to church history sites from Vermont to Utah. It provides maps, including the quickest way to get to important sites, as well as the scenic route if you have more time for stops.
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