The Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters (https://treeserviceomahane.com) is a museum and visitors’ center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints situated in the Florence community of Omaha, Nebraska, United States. The museum interprets the story of the Mormon Trail in addition to the history of a momentary Mormon settlement called Winter Quarters, which was located in the Florence area in between 1846 – 1848.
The museum is located on a bluff above and to the west of the Winter Quarters settlement website and is directly across the street from the historical Mormon Pioneer Cemetery and the Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple.
Early Visitors’ Center
Prior to the construction of the present center, a small remodeled house had served as a visitors’ center for tourists pertaining to see Florence and the Mormon Leader Cemetery. This center was closed on August 1, 1995 in preparation for the building of the new museum, and trailers served as a temporary center for visitors during the building process.
The new museum, built of red brick, has 11,000 square feet of display space and a large lower level. It opened at the end of 1996 with a preview of partly finished displays which year’s gingerbread house display.
The museum was committed by Church President Gordon B. Hinckley on April 18, 1997. The commitment became part of that year’s sesquicentennial celebration of Brigham Young’s Vanguard Business leaving Winter Quarters, trekking across the United States, and showing up in Mexico’s Salt Lake Valley in 1847.
In 1998 a life-sized statue of a Mormon handcart family was placed on a round, concrete pedestal in front of the museum. The statue was produced by Latter-day Saint sculptor Franz M. Johansen.
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