Joseph Smith Birthplace
Joseph Smith was the founder and prophet of the Mormon faith. Mormonism started in America but its members can now be found around the globe. In fact, I often see Mormon missionaries in Taiwan. They are very easy to spot, they are wearing conservative clothing, actually wear safety vests and helmets when bicycling and in general, look either lost, bored or frustrated.
All through my life, I had seen signs for Joseph Smiths birthplace when visiting family in Vermont. Just like the Billings Rockefeller Mansion, I decided to visit last time I was in the USA. Admission is free and a nice missionary will give you a tour of the area. When it is open varies depending on the time of year but you can call 802-763-7742 to get times.
The Memorial is at 357 LDS Lane in South Royalton and is a bit of a drive of route 14. The entrance to the lane is a double road with lots of trees and a temple. Like most Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) facilities, it is well maintained and scenic.
Joseph Smith was born in an 800 square foot farmhouse on these grounds in 1805. The farm was actually owned by his maternal grandfather. The family stayed only three more years in the farmhouse before moving on. Joseph Smiths first revelations came when living in NYC, not in Vermont.
It was not until 100 years later that the church bought the land and built the memorial. The obelisk was a challenge to move to the remote location but on December 23rd, 1905 the memorial was dedicated. Now the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial includes a museum where you can learn about the prophets life. Little remains from the original farmhouse. There is the old hearthstone in the museum and the old door stone. There is also a chair that may have come from the original farmhouse.