In The News

Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Journey Stories’ begins today in Nauvoo

This article originally appeared in The Hawkeye

By Jermaine Pigee

NAUVOO, Ill. – Nauvoo is one of six cities in Illinois that will welcome a small part of the Smithsonian Institution to their communities.

“Journey Stories” is a Smithsonian Museum on Main Street exhibit that includes local history and explores how our ancestors came to America, Illinois and Nauvoo.

“The American story is unique, shaped by innovation in transportation, the personal will of many desperately desiring freedom and many others denied freedom’s promise,” said Anna Cohn, director of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Service. “From the Trail of Tears to Depression-era migration, ‘Journey Stories’ showcases America’s history of travel and transportation and helps visitors understand the connection of our ancestors to geography, events and the development of new modes of transportation.”

There are two parts to the exhibit, national and local, that will allow visitors to share the joys and hardships of those whose migration to America spanned four centuries.

The national exhibit, which will be housed at 1285 Mulholland St., will use visuals, audio clips, music, maps and artifacts.

The two-part local exhibit, “Mormons, Icarians, Germans and Catholics: Hope for a Better Life in Nauvoo” and “Journey Interrupted: A History of the Des Moines Rapids,” can be viewed at the Nauvoo Tourism Office, 1295 Mulholland St.

One part tells the stories of four groups who had key roles in Nauvoo’s history, and the second tells how the Mississippi River affected Nauvoo and the surrounding area.

Both the traveling and local exhibits will be open 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Both exhibits continue through Nov. 10.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 1 p.m. today, followed by a small reception at Hotel Nauvoo. After that, the exhibits are open for public viewing.

“This is pretty much a traveling museum,” said Kim Orth, director of the Nauvoo Tourism Office. “The Smithsonian Institution is a large museum in Washington.”

In addition to the Smithsonian program, three complementary programs will be presented. “Journeying through Music,” will take place at 7 p.m. tonight at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, 190 N. Wells St.

Local craftsman and woodcarver Lon Simpson will discuss “Icarian Furniture” at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 in the Nauvoo-Colusa Elementary School gymnasium, 1450 Knight St.

The final program is Nauviews, a program that depicts Nauvoo’s changing landscape through the eyes of various artists and photographers, which will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Nauvoo Visitors’ Center.