This was the home site for Joseph and Emma Smith while they lived in Harmony (now Oakland), Pennsylvania. They moved into their home soon after their arrival in December of 1827. They moved from Harmony in August 1830. In 1919 the home burned down. From 1947 to 1959 the Church acquired the land with 6 acres of riverfront property where the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood occurred.
The plaque on the right gives a good description of what transpired here:
The small home the Smith occupied here was built in the 1820s by Jesse Hale, a son of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. After Jesse moved west, his sister Emma and her husband, Joseph Smith, Jr., moved the three-room frame house onto this site soon after they arrived in December 1827. By February they had arranged to buy the house from Jesse and the 13 1/2 acres of farmland from Emma's father, Isaac Hale. Alvin, their first child, was born and died in this home.
It was while here that Joseph Smith began translating the Book of Mormon from the gold plates. Emma acted as this first scribe until Martin Harris, an early benefactor and convert, lived with them briefly. Martin recorded Joseph's translation from April into June of 1828, when the work was interrupted for a time. When the writing was resumed in February 1829, progress was slow as Joseph and Emma tried to work it in amid other farm and household chores.
In the spring of 1829, the prophet's younger brother Samuel and Oliver Cowdery, another early convert, came to stay with them. Samuel worked the farm and Oliver served as scribe. Most of the Book of Mormon was translated here before Joseph and Oliver temporarily relocated to live with friends in Fayette, New York, while finishing the manuscript and arranging for publication. Emma continued to live here in Harmony, with Joseph traveling back and forth.
Joseph returned home in June 1830, but was here only two months. The newly published Book of Mormon caused so much outcry that he was threatened with both legal action and mob violence. The couple finally left permanently in the last week of August 1830 to Fayette, New York.
Placed by the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1994.