As the church returned to Western New York in the early 1900s there was much prejudice against Mormonism. The twenty-four year mission of the Willard Bean family was instrumental in establishing a friendly atmosphere in the Palmyra, New York area and in regaining four historic land marks to the ownership of the Church.
It is still uncertain if the present Joseph Smith Sr., home was completed enough for the family to live in by the time the Angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith. Since 1881 the Sacred Grove was considered the woods where Joseph Smith had his First Vision. The term "Sacred Grove" became widely used after January 1906. The Church has restored the trees on the Hill Cumorah, and it has become the site for a yearly reproduction of the history of Mormonism. The original Martin Harris home burned and was replaced by the present cobblestone house. The original Peter Whitmer, Sr., cabin, where the Church was organized, was destroyed and later the present house was built.
Thousands of tourists visit these historic landmarks every year.
College and Department
Religious Education; Church History and Doctrine
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Packer, Rand H., "History of Four Mormon Landmarks in Western New York: The Joseph Smith Farm, Hill Cumorah, the Martin Harris Farm, and the Peter Whitmer, Sr., Farm" (1975). Theses and Dissertations. 5009.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, History, Guidebooks