10 significant LDS Church history sites you might not know about (10 items)
Kenneth Mays, who works as an instructor in the Church Educational System and serves as trustee for the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, remembers taking his first photographs as a hobby in 1985. Since then, it's turned into "an out-of-control passion."
Tens of thousands of pictures later, Mays has amassed a collection of LDS Church history photos from around the world.
Mays, who teaches church history courses at LDS institutes, said he has never taught the exact same lesson twice.
"I started taking pictures and then I said, 'Well, I can use them in the lessons,' " Mays said. "It's a hobby that turned into something that I can use to teach church history. ... I can always take something new and infuse it into the lessons."
As he travels, Mays receives much of his information from locals and ward historians who know the areas and are eager to share their knowledge.
Mays has shared his photos and stories with the Deseret News through the weekly feature "Picturing History" in the Mormon Times section.
Many of the photos Mays takes are of lesser-known church history sites. A list of 10 of those sites was published in 2011.
Here are 10 more sites that may not be well-known to church members but are nonetheless significant to the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with photos and information provided by Mays.
1 of 10. Erie Canal
When Palmyra was designated as a canal stop, Mays said that the city was given a very bright future.
During that era, economies boomed in cities that served as canal stops, due to their need for businesses like hotels, restaurants and blacksmiths, which accommodated travelers and businesspeople.
One such business was a bookstore and printing company opened by Egbert "E.B." Grandin. The canal allowed Grandin to float his equipment and supplies into the city for 90 percent less than traditional overland methods, and Joseph Smith was able to use the printing press to print and publish the Book of Mormon at an acceptable cost.
2 of 10. Stannard Quarry
The site, located two miles away from Kirtland, down present-day Highway 306, was frequented by workers, including Joseph Smith, during the construction process.
Mays said that tourists who travel to Kirtland are usually not aware that the quarry site is so close to the temple.
Additionally, once at the site, many tourists take time to walk along the raised, wooden path and to read the memorial plaques, but overlook a square-shaped pond, which was the deepest part of the quarry. The pond’s shape indicates that it was, perhaps, where most of the stone came from.
"Because it’s filled with water, we don’t think about (it)," Mays said. "The quarry was really deep; it’s just full of water, so you don’t see it."
3 of 10. King James Bible translation site
Of the 39 constituent colleges at Oxford, Mays mentioned that Merton College should be of particular mention among students of the Bible. Mays said that most of the Bible translation process likely occurred between 1605-1609.
During that time, Merton College warden Henry Saville invited one of the six translating committees to this room — his living quarters at the time — to work on their portion of the Bible.
The books translated in this room included the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), Acts and Revelation.
More information about the translation of the King James Bible and its translators can be found at kingjamesbibletranslators.org.
4 of 10. Lorenzo Snow birth home
The second floor of the Snow home is a later addition to the building, while the original main level remains intact.
The residence is currently owned by a man who is not LDS who Mays said has taken LDS visitors through the home "countless times."
Many years went by before several members of the Snow family became converted to the gospel. Eventually, Eliza would become the second Relief Society general president (1866-1887) and Lorenzo would serve as the fifth president of the church (1898-1901).
5 of 10. Perlea Moore gravesite
Though Moore died at a young age in 1843, Mays said an interesting fact is included in her cemetery records: "She provided the pillow when Joe Smith was tarred and feathered."
Moore's headstone is shown lying horizontally on the lawn in this picture.