Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chicago Tribune Article


Where to stay in Nauvoo

By Jay Jones Special to Tribune Newspapers

December 27, 2009

Given that Nauvoo's a four-and-a-half hour drive from Chicago and that there's so much to see, it's a good idea to plan an overnight stay. The town offers several lodging options, but by far the most unique and memorable experience is provided at Nauvoo Log Cabins.

Over the past several years, LDS church member Dave Hardle has made it his mission to search out old log cabins, dismantle them and move them – log by log – to his land on the east edge of town. He has reassembled six homes that originally stood in North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, and elsewhere in Illinois.

"Of course, the doors were all off," Hardle said of his discoveries. "The cows would be wandering in and out."

As Hardle and his son took apart the old homes, they numbered and mapped each log to ease the task of putting the buildings back together.

"The pioneers did the hard part," he said modestly. "My job was easy."

The homes are cleverly decorated using period antiques. For example, in the bathroom of the Jamison cabin, the towels hang over an ox yoke and the soap sits inside an old tin saucepan. Hardle also provides booklets explaining the history of each home.

"The Jamisons were early settlers in frontier Wyoming," one page reads. "Along the Bear River, near the foothills of the Uinta Mountains, this cabin was built to serve as a bunkhouse for ranch hands. It had a pot-belly stove for heat."

The pot-belly stove is long gone. All of the cabins feature modern conveniences, including satellite TVs and, of course, central heating.

As piles of timber adjacent to the parking lot attest, Hardle plans to reconstruct five more cabins.

Peak season rates range from $72 for the Ferrin Cabin, which sleeps two, to $400 for the magnificent (and new) Weary Traveler Lodge. With its four bedrooms and three bathrooms, it can accommodate up to 13 guests.

Lower rates are available in the off season.

www.nauvoologcabins.com; 217-453-9000.

Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune

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