(Excerpts from TheChurchNews.com)
The First Presidency has recently approved minor adjustments to the names of historic sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Seventeen of the 26 sites have been renamed to place greater emphasis on the Restoration of the gospel.
The Church’s historic sites are places where significant events happened in the Restoration and history of the Church.
Adjustments to Historic Sites Names
The following is a list of minor adjustments to names of historic sites (former names are in parenthesis):
- Brigham Young Winter Home and Office (Brigham Young Winter Home)
- Carthage Jail (Historic Carthage Jail and Visitors’ Center)
- Cove Fort (Historic Cove Fort)
- Grandin Building: Book of Mormon Publication Site (Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site)
- Hamblin Home (Home of Jacob Hamblin)
- Hawn’s Mill (Haun’s Mill)
- Johnson Home (Historic John Johnson Home)
- Joseph Smith Birthplace (Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial)
- Liberty Jail (Historic Liberty Jail)
- Martin’s Cove: Mormon Trail Site (Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Martin’s Cove)
- Morley Farm (Historic Isaac Morley Farm)
- Mormon Battalion Center at San Diego (Mormon Battalion Historic Site at San Diego)
- Mormon Trail Center at Winter Quarters (Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters)
- Sacred Grove (now includes Joseph Smith Family Farm)
- Sixth Crossing: Mormon Trail Site (Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Willie Center at Sixth Crossing)
- Rock Creek Hollow: Mormon Trail Site (Mormon Handcart Historic Site: Rock Creek Hollow)
- Whitmer Farm: Church Organization Site (Peter Whitmer Farm)
The following is a list of names of historic sites that did not change:
- Beehive House
- Far West Temple Site
- Hill Cumorah
- Historic Kirtland
- Historic Nauvoo
- Independence Visitors’ Center
- Kanesville Tabernacle
- Priesthood Restoration Site
- St. George Tabernacle
Why the Name Changes?
Jacob Olmstead, curator of historic sites in the Church History Department, said the primary reason for the name adjustments is to better reflect the event that took place at a specific site.
“We wanted to ensure that the names could represent or illustrate or speak to the significance of the events that happened there as best as possible,” he said.
Some names now include subtitles for clarification, such as the Whitmer Farm: Church Organization Site (formerly the Peter Whitmer Farm)…
Olmstead said another motive for adjusting the names is to “remove gender biases.” The former names of Peter Whitmer Farm, John Johnson Home and Home of Jacob Hamlin “highlighted the men that lived there,” he said…
Other historic site names were changed for simplicity. The Historic Liberty Jail is now Liberty Jail, and the Historic Cove Fort is now Cove Fort…
For the past few years, the Church has been refining its identity, Olmstead said. President Russell M. Nelson has placed great emphasis on using the correct name of the Church. Many names of the Church’s platforms and channels have been updated. A new symbol was introduced during the April general conference.
“Because these sites are so significant to the identity and the experience and the history of the Church, we wanted to keep pace with these changes,” Olmstead said. The name adjustments are to “further sync the historic sites with the identity of the Church.”