Saturday, June 9, 2012

Susquehanna River with the Bullochs

We have worked with President and Sister Bulloch since we got here last August.  He is a former Seminary/Institute Teacher and Director; she stayed at home and was a great mom to three children.  They began serving in July of 2009 and will be leaving in a few weeks.  They are extremely busy taking care of 100 missionaries, training, counseling, and leaning on the Lord in all they do.  We have managed to have them to our home for supper twice while we have been here.

They had been invited to go to the dedication of a monument that had been erected at the Joseph Knight Sr. home in Colesville, NY, and invited us to go with them.  We were very excited to go.

We visited the site where the Aaronic Priesthood was restored on the banks of the Susquehanna River.

A monument commemorating the restoration has been erected near the road that runs by the river.  It was produced by Avard Fairbanks.  

This tree (what is left of it) is very old--it may have been there when Joseph and Oliver were baptized in the river.  This was a very beautiful, sacred place.  We felt very privileged to be there with the Bullochs.
 We also stopped at the cemetery where Joseph and Emma's first child was buried.  The original headstone is the dark stone enclosed in the newer, marble headstone.
 The cemetery is located just south of the site where Emma and Joseph first lived after they were married.  The translation of the Book of Mormon was done in this house.  The home is gone and the foundation has been buried--too many people wanted a stone from the foundation for a souvenir.

 This is the foundation of the home where Emma's parents lived, just a short distance from Joseph and Emma.  You can see that it is surrounded by a very high chain-link fence.  We poked our camera through the fence to get this picture.

 Emma's parents, Elizabeth and Isaac Hale, were buried in the same cemetery where the Smith baby is buried.  These are their headstones and have been preserved like the baby's was, but the original stones are on the other side of the monuments here.
  It reads, "In memory of Arvin, infant son of Joseph and Emma Smith," with the date.  He died the same day he was born.  This was a very difficult time for both Joseph and Emma.  Martin Harris had taken the 116 pages of translation of the Book of Mormon to Palmyra to show his wife.  He was supposed to have returned right away, but it had been months and he still hadn't showed up.  Joseph wanted to go to Palmyra and find out what was wrong, but he didn't want to leave Emma so soon after her confinement.  But she encouraged him to, assuring him that she would be all right.  Palmyra is pretty far from Harmony, over 200 miles, which took many days to travel in those days.  It took driving there for us to appreciate how far it was.

This is the Joseph Knight, Sr., home in Colesville.  The couple is one of three couples that formed a company they call "Colesville Branch LLC," which purchases property in that area that is important in church history.  They erected this monument of Joseph and Hyrum as young men in the front yard of the home.

Joseph Knight operated a farm,a grist-mill, and a carding machine where Joseph Smith worked as a laborer.  During the translation of the plates, he furnished food and the paper upon which the original copy of the Book of Mormon was written.

A quote from the book, "Our Heritage" which we use when we study Church history: "Joseph Knight Sr. is also an example of those who willingly made sacrifices in the sale of their properties in order to join the Prophet in Ohio. His simple notice in the Broome Republican says much about his commitment to the gospel: “The farm lately occupied by Joseph Knight, situate in the town of Colesville, near the Colesville Bridge—bounded on one side by the Susquehanna River, and containing about one hundred and forty two acres. On said Farm are two Dwelling Houses, a good Barn, and a fine Orchard. The terms of sale will be liberal.”

The inside of the Knight home is a work in progress.  Below is a "Nanny Bench" from the period.  It is actually a rocker and the mother lays the baby behind the bars you can see on the front of the bench while she sits on one end or the other and snaps beans, pods peas, knits, etc. while the baby sleeps.  Pretty good idea, huh?

Above are some beams in the ceiling, we think they may have been original.

And this is the basement.  The pipes and wires are add-ons, as well as the electricity.  The stones on the left are part of the original basement/foundation.  The cement blocks are very new, replacing the wall that gave way and had to be replaced.

 Next we went to the Josiah Stoal home which is a few miles from the Joseph Knight home.  You may recall that Mr. Stoal was Joseph Smith's employer, and one of his enterprises was looking for a silver mine he was convinced was in the area.  He was a prosperous man and a good friend to Joseph.
 This is the front of the house with a plaque mounted on a stone.
 There is a statue of Joseph Smith holding an ax on the property to the left of the front door.
 Joseph proposed to Emma in this very room.

This was our last stop.  As you can see, the house of Squire Tarbell where Joseph and Emma were married is long gone and a high school athletic field has been built on the ground.  This sign was erected by the New York State Education Department and they didn't do their research very well, as you can see by the spelling of Emma's name.  But we are glad they acknowledge the importance of the site.


  1. Looks like fun! I love the picture of Bill proposing to you; you cute little love birds you!

  2. I love these photos! It is so good to see all the places you gt to visit! What a great place to serve, church history can be so inspiring!!!

    Love you!

  3. My family and I recently visited the Colesville branch site and were pleased to see that it was no longer a private residence. What a lovely surprise to find the monument and signs. We were expecting so much less - no recognition really. We are descendants through Josephs daughter Polly, hence the interest. Thank you to all who made the farm what it is today!