Winter Quarters Complex - Omaha, NebraskaBuilt on Indian land with permission from the U.S. Army, Winter Quarters served as the main settlement of the Mormons on the Missouri River until they moved the fitting-out site to Kanesville in Iowa.
The winter of 1846-47 was devastating, and with inadequate shelter and food they died by the hundreds of malaria, scurvy, dysentery, and a host of other unidentified ailments. Louisa Barnes Pratt recalled in her memoirs, "I hired a man to build me a sod cave. He took turf from the earth, laid it up, covered it with willow brush and sods. Built a chimney of the same. . . . I paid a five dollar gold piece for building my sod house, 10 x 12. . . . A long cold rain storm brought more severely again the chills and fever. These with scurvy made me helpless indeed! . . . Many of my friends sickened and died in that place, when I was not able to leave my room, could not go to their bedside to administer comfort to them in the last trying hours, not even to bid them farewell. Neither could I go to see their remains carried to their final resting place where it was thought I would shortly have to be conveyed."Winter Quarters encompassed the area of North Omaha near State and 33rd Streets. Historic sites include the Mormon Pioneer Memorial Bridge, Florence Mill, Florence Park, Mormon Pioneer Cemetery, Cutler's Park, and the first Mormon pioneer camp after leaving Winter Quarters. A major interpretive center was built by the L.D.S. Church at Winter Quarters Historical Site in 1997.
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Did You Know?
Mormons, as Latter-day Saints are popularly called, practice a unique religion that arose in 1830 from the teachings of church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. Early converts followed their prophet from New York to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. They were driven from each state by threats and violence. More...