September 26, 2023

Foot of Main Street Nauvoo Illinois

This map below was created to help find other Church Sites and Articles. Each point will have articles in the description about that point

(below the map is the rest of the article)

Many things have changed in the city of Nauvoo since the Saints left, but it is fun to imagine what it would have been like during the couple years when the Latter-Day Saints called Nauvoo home. One of the changes is how the Mississippi River water level changed when a dam was built down river. When the Saints lived in Nauvoo next to the Nauvoo House there was a Landing built or a wharf for steamboats. It was one of, at least four docking ports for river boats in Nauvoo.

The Ship ‘The Maid of Iowa’

This docking port at the Foot of Main was where ship, the "Maid of Iowa" landed. Joseph Smith called it "her landing." At this wharf the steamship took on freight and passengers.

It was at this wharf, and the ship "The Maid of Iowa" where two-hundred British converts landed. The group was being led by Parley P. Pratt and Levi Richards. This special group landed on April 12, 1843. The Prophet Joseph Smith was the first to board the steamboat and welcome the new converts to Nauvoo, with tears in his eyes.

When Joseph Smith met the captain of the ship "The Maid of Iowa", Joseph said "God Bless this little man." The Captains name was Dan Jones and he was baptized within a month of meeting the prophet. The prophet purchased half-interest in the "Maid of Iowa".

"The Maid of Iowa" was used for preaching services on Sunday April 14 1844. It was used to transport British converts to Nauvoo, carry missionaries toward their mission calls, it was used to intercept the sheriffs who were trying to take the prophet to Missouri, to ferry people to and from Montrose, and to take the Saints on social excursions with bands and music.

Foot of Main used for Baptisms

The Foot of Main was an important location to the Saints. They performed baptisms in the Mississippi River. On March 20, 1842 Joseph Smith baptized 80 people here, after Joseph preached at the Temple stand. One person who was baptized on this occasion was L.D. Wasson, Emma Smiths nephew. He was the first family member of Emmas to join the Church. After, baptizing 80 people, Joseph and the group returned to the temple stand and then Joseph confirmed 50 of those who were baptized.

Another fun thing about the Foot of Main is the Saints would use the Mississippi River when it was frozen for months for winter recreation. At the foot of main the prophet Joseph Smith would play with his sons Joseph Smith III, Alexander, and Frederick G. Other children would join in the fun when they would sled down the slopping end of Main Street on to smooth ice.

More Blog Posts on Nauvoo

Lucy Mack Smith’s Home, Nauvoo Illinois

Joseph Smith Property Tours in Nauvoo, Illinois

Visiting Nauvoo Sites, Know Before You Go

Smith Family Cemetery, Nauvoo Illinois

Miracle of the Malaria Healing in Nauvoo

References: "Sacred Places Ohio and Illinois, a comprehensive guide to early LDS Historical Sites." By La Mar C Berrett General Editor and Keith W. Perkins, Donald Q. Cannon p. 132

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