Historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will reopen this summer after closing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Presidency announced Thursday.
“We’re thrilled that the church’s historic sites will be open to visitors this summer,” said Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., the Church Historian and Recorder and a General Authority Seventy in a statement. “We know people are anxious to visit and the missionaries are eager to welcome them.”
While the Hill Cumorah site in Palmyra, New York, is scheduled to reopen at the end of May, the Hill Cumorah Pageant remains canceled.
The first eight sites in five states will tentatively open on May 1, based on local conditions, government guidelines and missionary staffing availability, according to a news release:
- The Mormon Battalion Center at San Diego, California.
- Carthage Jail in Carthage, Illinois.
- Historic Nauvoo in Illinois.
- The Kanesville Tabernacle in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
- Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters in Nebraska.
- The Brigham Young Winter Home and Office, the Hamblin Home and the St. George Tabernacle in southern Utah.
Another 14 sites in seven states are tentatively scheduled to open on May 28:
- The Grandin Building Book of Mormon Publication Site in Palmyra, New York.
- The Hill Cumorah in Palmyra.
- The Sacred Grove in Palmyra.
- The Whitmer Farm Church Organization Site in Waterloo, New York.
- The Independence Visitors’ Center in Independence, Missouri.
- Liberty Jail in Liberty, Missouri.
- Historic Kirtland, Ohio.
- The Johnson Home in Hiram, Ohio.
- The Morley Farm in Mentor, Ohio.
- The Priesthood Restoration Site in Oakland Township (Susquehanna), Pennsylvania
- Cove Fort in Beaver, Utah.
- The Joseph Smith Birthplace in Sharon, Vermont.
- Martin’s Cove: Mormon Trail Site Visitors’ Center in Alcova, Wyoming.
- The Sixth Crossing: Mormon Trail Site in Lander, Wyoming.
“Visiting the sites is a great way for individuals and families to enhance their understanding of church history,” Elder Curtis said. “Walking the paths and streets where the early Saints walked and visiting their homes and shops provides an immersive experience with the past. We hope in this year of ‘Come, Follow Me’ study of the Doctrine and Covenants and church history, many people will have an opportunity to visit the sites, either in person or via a virtual tour. We are prepared to welcome them.”
The news release said reopening conditions will vary, with health and safety a top priority. Some sites will require reservations with advance registration. Limits will be placed on the number of visitors in a building at one time so physical distancing can be maintained. Masks will be required indoors.
Most sites will reduce operating hours and some buildings or experiences may be closed.
Details can be found on each site’s web pages.