Garden Grove proved incapable of providing for all the needs of the Saints still crossing Iowa. A second, more expansive and permanent settlement was established at Mount Pisgah, named in honor of the biblical mount from which Moses was permitted to see the promised land. It was here that the U.S. Army first called on the Saints to furnish volunteers for the Mormon Battalion.
Distance: 153 miles from Nauvoo
"Being pleased and excited at the varied beauty before me, I cried out, 'this is Mount Pisgah.' "It was now late in May, and we halted here to await the arrival of the President and council. In a few days they arrived and formed a general encampment here, and finally formed a settlement, and surveyed and enclosed another farm of several thousand acres. This became a town and resting place for the Saints for years"
Parley P. Pratt
When we arrived, we had the place to ourselves but Bob Brown came over from his home and offered for us to join the tour group that was 5 minutes away. Next thing we knew, a tour bus arrives and the place was as lively as ever. We decided to join the tour which allowed us to see so much more. The tour takes you by tractor to other parts of the surrounding terrain where more can be seen.
Mt. Pisgah was the first white settlement in Union County, Iowa. This site founded by Mormon Scout, Parley Pratt, served as a way station on the original Mormon Trail from 1846 until 1852. Between 1846 and 1852 more than 2,000 people made their homes here while thousands of others simply passed through on their way west. Even those headed west to the gold fields in California stopped at Mt. Pisgah for supplies and rest. Today you can tour a cabin that was built as a reproduction of the type built as shelter by those early travelers. You can pause at the monument erected on this site in memory of the residents who did not survive their journey. Three hundred Mormons were buried here in just the first few months. You can trace wagon tracks across the prairie grass trail that eventually became a main thoroughfare to the west. You may picnic in the park near the site.
Tours are available. For more information or to schedule a tour please call Bob Brown at 641-763-2504, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many cabin foundations here as well as the trail west shoots in this direction
On the tour being pulled by a tractor
Below the main Pisgah site where the creek was
Forests around the Mount Pisgah area, foundation depression pits are located everywhere around here
Pisgah monument at the graveyard
Jumping on the tour. These people started in Vermont at the Joseph Smith Birthplace, then to the upstate New York church sites, then the Kirkland Ohio sites, then the Nauvoo Illinois sites, now on their way towards Salt Lake City.