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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Saints and Soldiers

One of the highlights of our San Diego trip was touring the new Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old San Diego. The story of the Mormon Battalion is a remarkable one that is told far too infrequently. It's a tale of courage, patriotism, service, sacrifice and, most of all, faith. This article provides an excellent summary of the tiny battalion that left their families on the prairie, completed one of the longest infantry marches in United States history, helped build San Diego, struck gold, went on to establish parts of Utah, overcame major trials, and relied on the Lord throughout it all. Of course, the best way to make those stories come to life is to visit the beautiful Mormon Battalion Historic Site itself.
And when I say that the site makes the story come to life, I mean it quite literally. It's the most technologically advanced and interactive visitors' center I've ever been to. From pictures in frames that come to life to hands-on activities to real artifacts to perfectly themed rooms showing videos of that portion of the journey (the camp, the Army fort, the prairie, old San Diego, etc.), the battalion's story is told in the most entertaining way possible. The tour kept everyone's interest piqued, from the 70-year-old grandpa in our group to my littlest brother. Along the way, we were able to...
Be outfitted for war:
Admire a very old cannon and other artifacts:
Search the battalion's roster for our ancestor and follow their path on an interactive map:
Go back in time for a family photo:
Build with fired bricks like the ones that members of the battalion introduced to San Diego:
Drive a wagon through the streets (okay, not really--but we did get to climb in it):
And, everyone's favorite: pan for gold.
It was such a fun way to learn about the saints and soldiers who trusted in the Lord, served their country, and set great examples for us all.


  1. Oh my goodness! We need to go back. We have been to the OLD visitors center, but this is really new and improved and we loved our visit before. In the old center right as you came in the front door there was an old photograph of my relative Meltiar Hatch, who served in the battalion and has an amazing story. He is also the man who settled Hatch Utah. Now you know where the name comes from! Pretty cool to realize what came before us and what amazing things these people did for us, our country, and our faith.

  2. That sounds so cool! Like my mom said, we went to that visitors center years ago, and it sounds like it is much improved!

    I also need to compliment you on your detailed and interesting blog posts! They are always so fun to read and I usually learn something too! You're great.

  3. Looks like so much fun! I'm sure you get asked this alot, but what kind of camera do you use? You always have the best pictures!

  4. I need to add San Diego to my list of places to visit. Thanks for the inspiration! And as always your photos are completely beautiful.

  5. I wish so badly I could visit CA! Especially San Diego. What a fun trip! And you two are such an adorable couple :)

  6. I also had an ancestor in the Mormon Battalion. Funny to think about our ancestors all knowing each other. I have always wanted to go to that visitor's center. One more good thing to add to the list.

  7. Ally- I have a Canon 50D with a couple different lenses and then a Canon point-and-shoot. I want to say it's a 1400? But I'm not totally sure.

    Sydna and Sharla- Yay, I love that our ancestors are all friends! It's funny to look at even just my mom's ancestors and my dad's--they were friends, too!


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