When the latter day saints fled Missouri during the winter of 1838-39 because of an extermination order issued by the governor, they crossed into Illinois and settled in a mosquito infested swampland along the Mississippi river. They drained the swamps and built a beautiful town that they named Nauvoo which became one of the largest cities in Illinois and an important commercial stop along the Mississippi. Nauvoo and surrounding communities became home to an estimated 16,000 saints. After Joseph and Hyrum Smith were shot and killed by a painted mob in 1844, the saints continued, at great sacrifice, to complete the temple in the city, at the same time as preparing for a mass exodus to the west. They completed the temple but soon after it's completion they left their homes, city, many belongings and their beloved temple, and began their march towards Zion.
The church has restored and rebuilt over 30 homes, businesses and sites in the Nauvoo area. The Community of Christ has preserved many Historic Joseph Smith sites, including the Mansion house, the Red Brick Store and the Smith family cemetery; where Joseph, Emma and Hyrum are buried, along with Joseph's parents. Cumorah Tours will Attend the Nauvoo temple to do temple baptisms, then will have several hours of free time in Historic Nauvoo to visit desired sites in smaller groups.