Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters

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The Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters is located in Omaha, Nebraska, adjacent to the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple and the Mormon Pioneer Cemetery. Several hundred of the Saints died at Winter Quarters before embarking on the trek to the Salt Lake Valley. The cemetery includes a sculpture called “Tragedy of Winter Quarters” by Avard Fairbanks.

The Mormon Trail Center is a visitors’ center that hosts exhibits about Winter Quarters, a major temporary settlement for Latter-day Saint pioneers after they were forced to leave Nauvoo, Illinois. The exhibits include descriptions of the westward migration to the Salt Lake Valley by wagon, handcart, sailing ship, and train. Although Winter Quarters was a temporary settlement, it, and others like it, were well-established by the Saints as if they would stay there longer. Many of the Church leaders spent time here, including Brigham Young. In Winter Quarters he received a revelation regarding the travel west; it is now section 136 in the Doctrine and Covenants.[1]

The center was dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1997. Franz Johansen sculpted the statue of a Mormon handcart family that is situated in front of the center.