Sunday, June 8, 2014

Road Trip: Boston to Fayette

Friday, with cousin Lucie as our guide with rode the "T" downtown to Boston for a walk along the Freedom trail. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day. We started at the Boston commons and the Massachusetts state house.

To perk up ornery, bored Will,  I bought him a smoothie. The other three shared a cup of the extra (given free by the nice clerk at Walgreens).

Joel's new hat.

The balcony of the old state house from where Bostonians first had the Declaration of Independence read to them. 

Paul Revere's house.

Interesting array of flags in front of Boston City hall.

First integrated Church in the USA.

Mennonite missionary choir in the Boston Commons.

Boston Public gardens

Swan, nest and egg.

Jewish family feeding the ducks before the advent of Sabbath. When the wife and daughter joined them I offered to take a family photo.

Make way for ducklings

Lexington Green

Concord "minute men." Will never found a Boston hat to buy (we refused to buy a $28 official Red Sox hat that he wanted) so in Concord he bought a nice walking stick the kept him entertained using it as a gun, to draw in the gravel, to poke at things etc. etc.

Last stop of the day, the Boston (Belmont) Temple. The original plan was to have a taller steeple, but the fair citizens of Belmont would not approve. The temple was dedicated without a steeple. The belligerence of Belmont prompted liberal, Catholic, democrat, senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and conservative, Mormon, republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah to work together and pass the Freedom of Religion act that granted all religions the right to build places of worships in any municipality. A shorter steeple was then added. Years later when Muslims wanted to build a Muslim community center and mosque a few blocks north of ground zero in lower Manhattan, Senator Hatch impressively supported the much opposed mosque. I do not always agree with Senator Hatch but on this occasion I was proud that he was willing to apply the principles of his act to all, including Muslims.

While in NYC we walked by the "ground zero" mosque site on Park Street. I went in to see the progress and was told in the temporary mosque that the plan is to demolish the building and finally build the intended Muslim community center.  See more from my visit here in 2012:

Saturday morning we headed west again via I-90. This is a photo of the hills and trees of western Massachusetts' Berkshires so the kids can see what they missed while watching videos and playing i-phone games.

We took a side trip into downtown Albany in quest of a good view of the Hudson River.

Next stop was in Seneca Falls at the Women's Rights National Historical Park. It commemorates the 1848 First Women's Rights Convention held at this simple Wesleyan Methodist Church

The adjacent visitor center had a nice movie and some great displays about the early days of the Women's Right's Movement.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the far left was one of the main leaders (she is flanked on the right by Fredrick Douglas who attended in solidarity of rights for blacks and for women) and was the one who read the declaration of sentiments. She and her colleagues had great vision. Marie noted how interesting it is that the Finger Lakes region of New York in the mid 1800s was such a center of change, both religious and civil.

Souvenirs from the gift shop. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is a Mormon, history professor.

Driving through Waterloo in route to Fayette we happen to cross over the Seneca-Cayuga canal that links these two Finger Lakes which are then linked to the Erie Canal. One U-turn later, and we were able to watch a small fishing boat transit the lock.

Our final stop was at the Peter Whitmer farm in Fayette, New York. Here in this reconstructed farm house, Joseph Smith finished his translation of the Book of Mormon and on April 6, 1830 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized.

The upstairs translation room.

In near by Seneca Lake, baptisms were held including that of Joseph Smith Sr.

In near by forests the angel Moroni showed the golden plates to the three witnesses. He also showed them to Mrs. Whitmer who had been so kind in opening up her home and taking care of Joseph and Emma and others.

The visitor center displays were recently re-done.

Included in the new displays is this new original painting of Jesus.

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