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Thursday, May 4, 2017

Visit to Palmyra, New York, May 1 - 3, 2017

While visiting our son in Mt. Airy, Maryland, we decided to take a short trip northward to upstate New York.


Day 1: Travel to Henrietta, New York. May 1



We left Mt. Airy at about 9:00 a.m., driving north through Westminster, Maryland; Gettysburg and Harrisburg (the state capital), Pennsylvania; then to Corning, New York. We visited the Corning Museum of Glass there.

Approaching the Corning Museum of Glass, May 1,  2017, Corning, New York

One of numerous displays at the Corning Museum. There were tours, demonstrations, etc., of everything from older glass applications to modern fiber optics and beyond.

After a brief visit at the museum, we proceeded to Henrietta, New York, just south of Rochester. On the way we encountered a violent thunderstorm that took out electricity in much of that area of New York, extending southeast as far as Harmony, Pennsylvania (which we visited on May 3.) We slept at a Super 8 Motel in Henrietta.

Day 2: Palmyra and Vicinity. May 2



Today we visited the following:

  • Palmyra Temple
  • Joseph Smith family's log cabin, frame house, and farm. (The Sacred Grove was much larger than I remembered from my visit in 1968.)
  • Place where Book of Mormon was first published
  • Martin Harris Farm
  • Bookstore next door to the Grandin Building
  • Hill Cumorah
  • Whitmore home in Fayette, NY (where Church was organized). The power was still off at the visitors' center there, due to yesterday's storm.
Barbara in the Palmyra Temple parking lot


Upstairs bedroom of the Smith log home where Joseph and his brothers slept. Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph in this room on April 21, 1823, without waking his brothers. He told Joseph to find some gold plages buried in nearby Hill Cumorah, which told of civilizations living in the western hemisphere.

The Smith family moved into this frame home (built by Alvin) briefly until finances required that they move back into the log home.

The Sacred Grove was located somewhere in the (surprisingly) large forested farm near the Smith homes. It was here, in the spring of 1820, that 14-year-old Joseph prayed to know which of the many churches in the area were true. God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph and answered his.

A room inside the Grandin Building, Palmyra, where the first edition of the Book of Mormon was published.

Angel Moroni monument atop the Hill Cumorah near Palmyra, New York. The gold plates from which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon were buried in Hill Cumorah.


The Whitmer home in Fayette, New York, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by six people on April 6, 1830.

We returned to Super 8 in Henrietta (south of Rochester) for bed. (If we were to do it again, we probably would have found a hotel nearer Palmyra

Day 3: Return to Mt. Airy. May 3




We had to return to Mt. Airy, Maryland for a birthday party today. We took I-90 from Rochester to Syracuse (following the Erie Canal to the north of the Interstate). Then we headed south on I-81, passing through Binghamton to a place that was once called Harmony, Pennsylvania, barely across the border into Pennsylvania. (The GPS on my iPhone camera labeled it Oakland, Pennsylvania.)


Joseph and Emma Smith home in Oakland or Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. (It was known as Harmony at one time.) They lived here in the late 1820's. Most of the Book of Mormon was translated in this home.

The power was still off in Oakland, just as it had been in Fayette and at Hill Cumorah—courtesy of the raging thunderstorm on May 1. It was enjoyable, however.

We arrived back in Mt. Airy by about 6:00 p.m., in time for birthday cake.