The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half

The Mormon Pioneer Trail / The Trail's Better Half (HM1P5V)

Location: Corydon, IA 50060 Wayne County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 45.44', W 93° 18.697'

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Beginning in February of 1846, the vanguard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) struggled across southern Iowa on the way to their "New Zion" in the Rocky Mountains.
The trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, to Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa, tested the endurance of humans, animals, and equipment. The frozen landscape of an Iowa February soon turned into a thawing mixture of nearly impassable mud and muck. Their unshakable faith and determination sustained them, however, and thousands of men, women, and children arrived at the Missouri River, having completed this first portion of the journey west under extremely difficult conditions.
After wintering in the present-day Omaha/Council Bluffs district, the Saints continued across Nebraska and Wyoming to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. Today, a marked 1,624 mile long auto tour route closely parallels this historic route.
The Mormon Pioneers struggled across the Iowa prairies, traversed the Great Plains of Nebraska, climbed the backbone of the continent at South Pass, Wyoming, and descended the Pacific slope of the Rocky Mountains to the Great Salt Lake Valley of Utah.
The Mormon migration was the movement of an entire people to establish new homes in the West. Therefore, women played a more important role in everyday life along the Mormon Pioneer Trail than in later emigrant companies of young men, heading west to seek their fortunes in the California gold fields.
Women's responsibilities included most of the care of infants and children, as well as fuel gathering, cooking, churning, sewing, laundering, and nursing. Childbirth was a common occurrence on the trail. Many women were pregnant when they left, and others became pregnant en route.
Pioneer women did everything they could to preserve a semblance of home and civilization, even in the middle of the wilderness. Sometimes at night, their scanty belongings were arranged around campfires to approximate their parlors back home. The interiors of their wagons were often decorated with mirrors, carpets, and lamps to appear as homelike as possible.
Eliza Maria Partridge Lyman, March 6, 1846
"Arose in the morning and made a small fire of bark, and made some coffee to drink with our bread.... Rollins killed 8 prairie hens, and D. P. Clark a bird, which will make us a very comfortable meal."

Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, Recollections
"The youthful portion... could form a cotillion of French four by the big log fire, and often we did so at evening and danced to amuse ourselves as well as to keep our blood in proper circulation."
Eliza R. Snow, May 17, 1846
"Yesterday I enjoy'd the novel scenery of a quilting out-of-doors, after which with much conviviality & agreeable sociability the party took tea.... Our treat was serv'd in the tent, around a table of bark, spread on bars, supported by four crotches drove into the ground; and consisted of light biscuits & butter, dutch cheese, peach sauce, custard pie & tea."
Louisa Barnes Pratt, May 31, 1846
"I found great pleasure in riding horseback. By that means I could render some assistance in driving the stock.
These excerpts, selected from thousands of faded Pioneer journals, tell us how it was on the trail for the Mormon Pioneers, who in spite of daily toil, hardships, and death, left us a thousand windows into the past.
HM NumberHM1P5V
Series This marker is part of the Mormon Pioneer Trail series
Placed ByIowa Mormon Trails Association and National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, November 8th, 2015 at 9:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 473696 N 4511866
Decimal Degrees40.75733333, -93.31161667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 45.44', W 93° 18.697'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 45' 26.4" N, 93° 18' 41.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)641
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 533-565 IA-2, Corydon IA 50060, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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