Known as “The Old Stone Church,” “The Legion Hall,” “The Temple Stone Church,” or “The Old Methodist Church,” this building has a remarkable story to tell. Every group who has been in what is now Nauvoo, has played a part in its history.
The land was owned by one of Nauvoo’s first land owners, Joseph B.Teas. He purchased the property in 1827. Those who owned the land through the years include Ethan Kimball (brother of Hiram Kimball and cousin of Heber C. Kimball), Peter Fullmer, and Pulaski Cahoon (son of Reynold Cahoon).
A prominent early Nauvoo resident, Adam Swartz soon aquired the property, and it was during his period of ownership that the current building was constructed. The building was constructed prior to 1860 by Michael Baumert (who also constructed the Stone Arch Bridge in Nauvoo). Michael Baumert was an early German immigrant to Nauvoo, and was a master stone mason. Initially constructed as the English Methodist Church building, it was constructed with Nauvoo Temple Stone purchased from the Icarian’s. Joseph Smith III made the following statement in 1860:
“The Methodists, who had long worshiped in the old Music Hall, north and east of the temple lot, purchased a lot on Mulholland Street a little more than a quarter of a mile from the temple east, and built them a small chapel, using temple stones for corners, window ledges, and caps…”
From this we know that much of the building was constructed with Nauvoo Temple stone. One fragment of a star stone is still visible on the exterior.
Emma Smith played organ here, and attended with her children.
The church building was sold in 1925 to the American Legion, who held it until 1998 when it was sold to the Nauvoo Faith Heritage Society. In 2001 the building began its next phase, serving as a quilt shop, woodworking shop, and was even used as a costume workshop for the LDS film “Legacy”.
It has now been thoroughly renovated, and serves as an elegant vacation home for those visiting Nauvoo, and looking for an historic experience, with all the modern luxuries.