Many of my San Antonio friends have always asked me "What is Independence like?" Independence is where Joseph Smith laid down cornerstones to build a temple one day. We also refer to it as the center place of Zion. Members of the church settled in Independence, known at the time as the Gateway to the West because it was the start of the Santa Fe Trail. By 1833, many members were chased out of Independence by mobs. You can read more about the history of the Saints in Missouri here... very fascinating read!
Anyways, I went out to dinner with my oldest best friend Jennifer one night. We decided to walk around Independence Square after dinner. Here are some pictures of Independence -- right in the hotspot of where everything happened almost 200 years ago.
This is looking at our cinema. It's actually restored, and much cheaper to go here than to the regular movie theater! So grateful for people who restored a lot of the buildings on the Square -- it really is a beautiful area!
This is looking down the the other side of the street from the cinema. My in laws own a store on this side of the street (next to the Square Pizza shop).
This is the courthouse (well, the 2nd courthouse) -- the first courthouse, sadly is falling down in ruins a block away from this site. There is a 3rd courthouse a few blocks away that is more modern and where all the action is held!
This was an eyesore before this restuarant was built! The Square has several very nice places to eat, and Cafe Verona is one of them. Jen and I ate here for dinner. Yummm!
Another fact is that Harry Truman hails from Independence! In fact, his home is only a few blocks away from the Square. This statue is in front of the Courthouse.
This is a sign from the ice cream parlor where Harry Truman worked his first job.
People who are of the LDS faith will recognize the name Sidney Gilbert and Newel Whitney -- they had a store while they lived in Independence, and this is the original site of the store. Now it is a very fancy kitchen store with specialties inside. The owner of this building is a member of the Community of Christ church, and restored much of the Square -- trying to keep the spots that existed back in the 1800's in the same original location.
A block away off the Square lies all the beautiful Victorian homes that were built in the 1800's. We used to live a few blocks away from the Square -- and I truly do miss living in this area! It was such a place of beauty to be surrounded by beautiful homes with a beautiful Square rich in history beyond it.