Experience Historic Kirtland Village
A meticulously restored and reconstructed 19th-century settlement, Historic Kirtland showcases the vitality and spirit of the early American frontier. It also offers a colorful glimpse into the Second Great Awakening, a period of religious fervor in the United States in the 1820s and '30s, as it tells the story of early members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Newel K. Whitney Store
See how shopping has changed over two centuries! This restored “general store” has been stocked with commodities listed in the owner’s 1826 ledger and account book. Shoppers bartered personal belongings for household supplies: brown sugar, molasses in 15-gallon wooden kegs, cooking oil in hand-thrown pottery, and fancier “imports” like shoes, bolts of fabric, dishes, and tools.
Newel K. Whitney Home
On the northwest corner of Historic Kirtland's main intersection stands the small, but elegant home of Newell K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney. This lovely home, built in 1826, shares this bustling intersection with the Whitney Store, the Whitney and Gilbert Livery Stable, and The Johnson Inn.
Explore the only restored ashery in North America. Asheries produced potash or pearl ash, an essential ingredient used to manufacture glass, soap, and gunpowder. Learn how this 19th-century chemical plant produced this highly useful commodity from ashes that were collected, purchased or bartered from the settlers.
Get a feel for a day in a student’s house nearly 200 years ago. Inside the 1819 “little red schoolhouse” rests a cast-iron stove surrounded by authentic tiered seating from the period. Students from all age groups gathered to attend the school. Instruction consisted of reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Smell the scent of fresh cut timber as you study the operation of a reconstructed, fully functional sawmill. An impressive water wheel powers saw blades that move up to 60 strokes per minute and can handle logs up to 16 feet long. You will see historically correct tools and machinery, including a wood lathe, newly created by talented craftsmen. Periodically the sawmill is “powered up.” Call for scheduled demonstrations.
The John Johnson Inn
"It takes my breath away," visitors exclaim as they stand at the entrance of the new and re-built version of the Peter French Tavern, known years ago as Kirtland's first hotel. While this inn originally offered its guests a clean bed and rest, visitors today discover a new purpose. Standing at the intersection of Chillicothe and Kirtland-Chardon Road in the 1830s, it served comfort to weary travelers. Today the John Johnson Inn stands at the crossroads of old-time Kirtland, a showpiece in the Historic Kirtland Village. Comforts of warmth, love and respite are still offered, but of another sort, to guests from all over the world.
John Johnson Farm House (Hiram, Ohio)
The Johnson home in Hiram, Ohio is a short hour drive from Historic Kirtland. Plan to include this beautiful spot as part of your visit. Take a moment to capture memories as you stand on the front steps where the Prophet Joseph Smith stood to deliver many sermons, and in the rooms where heart rending as well as magnificent events took place.
Isaac Morley Farm
See the beautiful wooded area where the religious group called "The Family" was led by Isaac Morley and where the first general conference in Kirtland was held. When the first four missionaries came into the area in the fall of 1830, most of "The Family" joined the church. Of the original one hundred acre farm, the church now owns only sixteen; however part of that is the "Old Chillicothe Trail." Remnants of an original 1800's silo are still visible, and picnic tables enable guest to stop and enjoy the farm's tranquil setting.
Saints of Kirtland
Knowing the background of your ancestors could greatly enhance your visit to Historic Kirtland. The Saints of Kirtland has information on early Latter-day Saints that were in Kirtland and surrounding areas of Ohio during the approximate time frame of 1830 to 1838.
In the heart of Chapin Forest reservation, which is now operated by the Lake Metroparks System, lays the newly exposed 1830s Stannard stone quarry. Stone quarried here found its way into many early homes and buildings, including the Kirtland Temple. Many foot trails enable visitors to hike through the beautiful surrounding forests, which total several hundred acres. Signs and demonstrations tell the story of men who labored mightily to quarry and haul stone into surrounding structures. Quarry Lake is visible immediately upon entering the park, as are the paths on either side of the lake, which lead to the extensive rock foundations, which still display original drill marks made by workers of over 170 years ago. Picnic tables, swings, sports fields, and other recreational facilities further the enjoyment of this densely preserved forest.
The village of Fairport Harbor is both a Church historical site and a fun recreational stop. When visiting this site, note the excellent marker placed by the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation at the base of the lighthouse.
Schedule Group Tours
Historic Kirtland is east of Cleveland, Ohio, just minutes from I-90 and other major highways. FREE TOURS are available beginning at the Visitors’ Center. Modern facilities, available at no charge, include ample parking, clean restrooms, and picnic areas. Lodging and restaurants are available within a mile.