Mount Pisgah is a significant piece of Iowa's Mormon Trail legacy

February 16, 2018

 

The Mormon Trail goes through the entire length of Iowa and so throughout many communities in southern Iowa, there are a lot of spots that are of historical significance. 

 

As I was driving in Union County recently and on a blacktop road between Lorimor and Thayer, I spotted one of those brown signs that alerts you to a park, historical marker, or other point of interest. 

 

I decided to follow it because I had heard about Mount Pisgah but I wanted to see the site for myself. It is a 9 acre preserve, cemetery, monument, and also a park.

To get to Mount Pisgah, you travel on a gravel road and it seems as if you are going straight through a farmer's farm as you get close by. However, it is a public roadway and the farmer just farms on both sides of the road, albeit pretty closely to the road.

 

There are a couple of signs on the grounds that give you a bit more history and why this place is such an important part of the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints story in America.

 

 

There are a couple of great online resources to read about Mount Pisgah if you want to dig in further. The Wikipedia page has some good information as well as the church history page and the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation

 

Very little is left from what was once quite a settlement. However, there is a monument to remember the hundreds of Mormons who perished while living here.

 

 

It's a beautiful area and I can see why they would have wanted to stop here. There are some stunning views of the rolling hills of southern Iowa.

 

On one end of the property is a restored log cabin with a sod roof. It is a replica of the sort of structure that would have been built here at the time it was settled. Incidentally, the founding of Mount Pisgah in 1846 is also the year Iowa was founded as a state.

 

 

This sign and plaque are tacked onto the outside of the cabin.

This picture with description is actually located inside the cabin.

There is also a monument that has been placed at the site to remember some Mormon missionaries who were killed in a car accident in 2000 on a road nearby.

There is a very primitive restroom facility on the grounds. Perhaps during season it is kept up more, but on this particular Saturday in late January, it was in pretty rough shape.

However, there are plenty of spots to park and picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and a grill.

 

 

 

 

It's a beautiful place to stop if you are out and about in the area. I am glad I stopped as the Mormon Trail is a significant part of Iowa's history. I would invite you to visit the Iowa Mormon Trails Association on Facebook.

 

As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile in Union County or in any of the other 98 counties in our state. Please drop me a note through my website and follow Iowa Adventurer on Facebook

 

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