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Historical Archaeology at Emma and Joseph Smith, Jr’s Farm in Harmony, Pennsylvania

Author(s): Matthew Kirk ; Corey McQuinn ; Benjamin Pykles

Year: 2014

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Summary

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Church) and Hartgen completed excavations at the home of Church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. in Harmony Township, Penna., in advance of a new interpretive center. The visitors’ center incorporates two important properties in Church history: the Smiths’ home (c.1827-1830) where Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon; and, the home and farm of his father-in-law, Isaac Hale (c.1792’1843). A principal goal of the investigation was to gather data in support of the reconstruction of the two farmsteads. This paper focuses on the Smith house, which had a complex building history marked by attached houses, a ruinous fire, demolition in the twentieth century, and re-use of the property as a historical site. In addition to ascertaining the evolution of house components, archaeologists also uncovered sheet middens from the Smith-period. The Church has a long history with historical archaeology starting at Nauvoo, Illinois that began in 1961 and flourished for a time under J.C. ‘Pinky’ Harrington. The paper concludes by placing this work into the framework of Church archaeology with emphasis on recent studies at other interpretative sites.


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Historical Archaeology at Emma and Joseph Smith, Jr’s Farm in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Matthew Kirk, Corey McQuinn, Benjamin Pykles. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437268)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-71,05

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America