A strip of chain restaurants is often displayed in towns with a high volume of tourism and activity. However, you won’t find the “golden arches” in Nauvoo, IL because as the saying goes, “Unchain yourself in Nauvoo.” If you look at all of the unique shops and places to eat in town, none of them are commercial chain stores. The food in Nauvoo is homemade, and the sites celebrate the rich history of a community that is closely tied to the Latter-Day Saints. Nauvoo was the site for our most recent Learning Trip, and OLLI members learned that “Nauvoo truly has something for you.”
The day started with a stop at the Nauvoo Visitor’s Center. OLLI members were able to learn how the town was established as a place of peace and beauty on a great bend in the Mississippi. A short film that was actually shot in Nauvoo was shown to provide an overview of the historic community. At the Visitor’s Center, OLLI members were also able to tour the Monument to Women Garden; the garden is dedicated to pioneer women and the role of womanhood.
Ron Yockey served as the step-on guide for the day, and held a wealth of knowledge regarding the history of Nauvoo. Throughout the day, Ron would tell stories behind the historic buildings that lined the streets. One site that was of particular interest was the Nauvoo temple. OLLI members learned that the temple is not used for Sunday church services, but rather as a holy place dedicated to the highest forms of worship. The trip concluded with a visit to the Joseph Smith Historic Site, which houses the Reorganized Church.
It is safe to say that OLLI members could spend days in Nauvoo learning about the rich history of the community and visiting the variety of sites. It is also quite true that the homemade food in Nauvoo is worth the trip alone. The weather was chilly, but that did not stop OLLI members from taking advantage of touring the historic sites.
OLLI would like to thank Ron Yockey for leading a wonderfully informative tour.