Joseph went into the woods the "morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring" of 1820 (Joseph Smith—History 1:14).
The 10 acres now comprising the Sacred Grove are said to be "one of the last surviving tracts of primeval forest in western New York state" ("The Sacred Grove," Ensign, April 1990, 16).
The Sacred Grove is located 1/4 mile west from both the Smith log home in Palmyra and the Smith frame home in Manchester County.
At the age of 10, Joseph Smith Jr. moved to Palmyra, New York
During the first year on the farm, the Smith family cleared 30 acres of heavy timber, through extreme physical exertion by both man and beast.
Oliver Cowdery boarded at the Smith family home during the winter of 1828–29. He learned about the sacred record and later became a special witness of its truth.
The Smith farm had several structures surrounding the frame home. Some possible structures that may have existed was a barn, cooper's shop (for barrel-making), smokehouse and granary.
In A.D. 421, Moroni, the last survivor of a great civilization that had inhabited the Americas since 600 B.C., buried in this hill a set of golden plates on which was engraved a sacred account of his people. In 1827 Moroni returned to this hill as an angel and delivered the plates to Joseph Smith for their eventual translation and publication as the Book of Mormon.
"On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box" (Joseph Smith—History 1:51). In describing the Hill Cumorah, Oliver Cowdery said: "The north end rose suddenly from the plain, forming a promontory without timber, but covered with grass. . . . To the south you soon came to scattering timber . . . enough to cause a shade in summer" (Oliver Cowdery, "Letter 8," Latter-day Saint Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1835, 195–96).
Egbert B. Grandin purchased an advanced "Smith Patented Improved Press" that significantly sped up the printing process.
After printing, every page was hung to dry on racks before being sent to the bindary to be folded, cut, and bound.
The official organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occurred here on April 6, 1830.
Due to heavy persecution in Harmony, Pennsylvania, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery traveled with David Whitmer here to the Peter Whitmer farm. Joseph's wife, Emma, came shortly thereafter.
Joseph Smith and the Three Witnesses went to "a piece of woods convenient to Mr. Whitmer's house" and received a visit from the angel Moroni, who showed them the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. During that visit the Savior's voice was heard declaring the truth of the translation (History of the Church, 1:54).