Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday morning, Sept 23, we checked out of our hotel in White River Junction and drove north the short distance to Sharon, Vt and the birthplace of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

This is a spot that is very special to us because we came here on our 35th Wedding Anniversary trip and back in 1960-62 I was privilaged to come here a number of times as a missionary of the New England States Mission to perform baptisms of new converts. All of our mission also gathered here for the dedication of the then, new Visitor's Center (the buildings you see in the foreground) performed by President Hugh B. Brown.

Linda can be seen in the left of center, walking and talking with our guide, Sister Slade. Sister Slade and her husband are serving a 6-month mission as guides at the Visitor's Center. They come from Star, Idaho and have family in the East Valley, Arizona. (This photo and note is out of sequence. It didn't transmit the first time I attempted to post it)

Day 22, Tues, Sept 23, Sharon, VT to Laconia, NH

After our visit to the Joseph Smith birthplace we headed toward Laconia, New Hampshire, crossing the Connecticut River (not shown) which forms the boundary between Vermont and New Hampshire at White River Junction and continuing east on US 4 and then NH 104 towards Laconia and beautiful Lake Winnapisoki. As with events of yesterday, we had to stop numerous times to take pictures. It was all so very beautiful! The colors are really starting to "pop!" as Linda says.

This is a body of water, name unknown, along Route 104. We are looking east toward one of the majestic mountains of New Hampshire, about hafeway between Lebanon and Meredith, NH (Yes, there is a resort town on the shores of Lake Winnapasoki called Meredith).

When our guides, Elder and Sister Slade, learned that Linda would not be able to walk to the sites of interest that are in the forested area north of the Monument, they loaded us into a golf cart and took us out to the location of foundation stones of the homes built by Lucy Mack Smith's father, Solomon Mack. They also showed us the remains of a stone bridge over a stream of water; part of the roadway that was built between Montreal, Canada and Boston, Massachusetts, back in the 1700's. The Solomon Mack properties adjoined this historic old turnpike that would have been an important means of transportation and commerce in those early frontier days.

Elder Slade took this picture of us, standing on the stones of the bridge.

Vermont Ancestry

As we visit these beautiful places of Vermont we are reminded that we have ancestrial roots here in the rocky soil of this Green Mountain state.

Welcome Benjamin Chapman was born in the village of Readsboro, Bennington County, Vermont on July 24, 1805. He was a contemporary of the Prophet Joseph Smith, born in the same year and in the same state. His grandparents, Throop and Deborah Chapman were among the earliest settlers in Readsboro, coming there in 1784.

Welcome's parents, Benjamin and Sibyl(Amidon)Chapman, moved from Readsboro to the area of Syracuse, New York when Welcome was only 2-years-old. So, his growing up years were in upstate New York. His first serious life's work was as a cook on a fishing vessel on Lake Ontario. He was in the Great Lakes and north Atlantic fishing trade until he began courting his future wife Susan Amelia Risely, a native of Madison, NY sometime around 1831. As Susan's parents looked negatively upon her suiter being a fisherman by trade and since he had earlier apprenticed as a stone cutter, Welcome forsook his life as a commercial fisherman and became a stone cutter, a cooper (a maker of barrels) and a farmer. He would have been around 26 years of age.

When he first learned of Joseph Smith and the Restoration Welcome saddled a horse and rode over 200 miles down to Kirtland, Ohio where he spent several days with the Prophet Joseph, and was baptized. He is the first of our Chapman line to become a member of the LDS Church.

On the Burnham side, James Lewis Burnham was born in Waitsfield, Washington County, Vermont on October 29, 1813. We do not have his history with us on our trip, but he most likely grew to manhood in the same area as he was wed to Mary Ann Huntley in 1834 and she was also a native of Waitsfield, VT, born there in 1816. The only other thing our limited record shows is that Mary Huntley Burnham gave birth to great grandfather George Franklin Burnham in October 1839 in Woodstock, Illinois. James must have joined the Church and brought his wife and family to gather with the Saints to the Nauvoo area. He died at the young age of 32 in Nauvoo.

More pictures along US 4 Vermont

This was our view from the spot where we ate our roasted corn and apple pie while at the "Fool on the Hill" farm outside of Woodstock, VT on Monday, Sept 22. The fall colors are just starting to turn

It is impossible for us to drive by these covered bridges and not stop for a picture. They are old, but still serviceable. A big ice cream delivery truck drove through this one just before this picture was taken on Monday during our journey from Rutland to White River Jct, VT

Another covered bridge along US 4 Vermont