Thanks to Mike Trapp and Marty Hitchcock from Nauvoo, Illinois for this report.
Saturday March 25, 2000
Today approximately forty BYU Students and staff, local members and interested citizens gathered to Nauvoo's Temple Square to search the dirt and sludge removed from the temple well.
The project started with a prayer by Elder Stephen Call and a welcome by Elder Ron Prince. A history and layout of the well was offered by Elder Ed Allen, Structural Engineer on the project.
Elder Richard Holbrook shared the events of the well since the new construction was started. Elder Ron Prince then outlined what was to be done by the BYU student staff and a few other helpers. Prayer was offered by Elder Johnson.
The BYU students were able to sift through the dirt and silt that made up the well and found such treasures as broken glasses, tin cans, and plenty of pennies and other coins dating back to the 1970's. The written program carried a brief history on the back.
The historic Nauvoo Temple well was inside the historic temple walls. The well and the water storage cistern were used to fill the baptismal font, which was in the center of the room on the basement level. The cistern was located at the east end of the basement level.
The historic drain from the baptismal font remains intact, outside the new temple excavation. It was located under the floor of the font room. It ran to the southeast, through the temple footings. The portion between the font and the south temple footings was excavated in an earlier historic dig. The portion that ran from the temple footings to the side of the present temple excavation was excavated January 7, 2000.
The original underground rectangular limestone drain remains undisturbed as it starts at the edge of the new temple excavation on the south side about where the deep mechanical room starts. It then runs to the southeast under Mulholland Street. In the past the drain probably emptied into a natural drainage at Bluff and Ripley Streets; the water then found its way to the Mississippi River. The depth of the font drain at temple excavation is about 10-12 feet below ground level; it has a drainage slope of approximately one quarter inch per foot. This drainage slope is the same as that used in modern day plumbing.
BYU Students sifting through dirt.
More sifting and saving finds.
A sign was unearthed.
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