by LCVB staff member Dan Maxson

The Kirtland Temple one of many Lake County Gems

Heritage Tourism Focus – #3-43 The Kirtland Temple one of many Lake County Gems

Ohio’s smallest county has perhaps the most history and artifacts and I am sad to say remains ‘a best kept secret’ to many residents and tourists. With Heritage Tourism moving to the forefront of the LCVB in 2018 lets focus on a Lake County bluff in northeastern, Ohio located less than 25 miles from Cleveland. The National Historic Site is located in Kirtland and was once an epicenter of church history. The Kirtland Temple is a 15,000 square foot edifice, originally blueish- grey in color with a red roof. Its olive color doors were restored in 2002. Two assembly rooms, three floors and a Visitor Center (2007) make this historical site a one tank trip not to be missed. The original quarry is located minutes away, its crushed glass and chinaware stucco style and original architectural design including interior windows provides every visitor a chance to experience a frozen moment in time. As your travel the roads of Lake County stop at 7809 Joseph Street in Kirtland anytime from May-October.

An Abridged Timeline of NRHS Temple Events:

2007- Newly improved Visitor Center & Museum opened
2002- Temple doors are restored to original olive color
1969- Placed on NRHS registry
1955- Original exterior temple stucco removed and reapplied
1899- Gas lights installed
1890- Bell installed in bell tower-sounds every Sunday morning (50x)
1882- Restoration efforts underway
1873- Russell Huntley sells temple to Joseph Smith III and Mark Forscutt for $150
1850- James Ryder uses upper floor courts for photography studio. Upper floor is also home to Western Reserve Teacher Seminary
1838- Temple members depart for Missouri
1836- New Temple is dedicated (7 hour service)
1833- Construction of Temple begins
1831-Members begin to gather in Kirtland ( first known as Latter Day Saints, now known as Community of Christ)
1830-Joseph Smith organizes a church in western New York

More details / inquiries –

About Dan Maxson

Dan is the President of the Fairport Harbor Historical Society. He is also the local expert on Lake County lore and history.