Isaac and Elizabeth Hale Home
Nearby Harmony cemetery. The two large headstones center-left are of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale. On the far left stands the grave of Emma and Joseph's firstborn, Alvin, who died here not long after his birth.
The grounds of the Hale home as it looked before it was reconstructed earlier this year.
The Hale home as it looks today
late 1830s portrait of Emma Hale Smith
President Russell M. Nelson and wife leave Hale home after a tour
Backstory and Context
"Joseph Smith first arrived in the area of Harmony, Pennsylvania in 1825. He had been hired by Josiah Stowell, of South Bainbridge, NY, to dig for Spanish treasure. During the short time of his employ, Joseph and other workers boarded at the farm of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale of Harmony, PA. It was there that he met Emma Hale, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth.
Joseph Smith left Harmony and worked for Josiah Stowell and, later, for Joseph Knight of Colesville (now Nineveh), New York. During that time he continued to visit Emma at her home in Harmony as circumstances would allow. Their relationship blossomed and led to their marriage in January 1827. Following their marriage, Joseph and Emma moved to Manchester, New York, where they boarded with Joseph’s parents. After he had obtained the golden plates, opposition pushed Joseph away from the Manchester area. With assistance from Emma’s brother and financial help from Martin Harris, the couple moved back to Harmony in December 1827.
Joseph and Emma purchased 13 acres from Emma’s father and occupied a small home that was situated on that property. It was in that home that the Prophet translated the 116 known as the Book of Lehi. Martin Harris subsequently lost that manuscript and the ability to translate was taken from Joseph for a while. He eventually began translating again in April 1829, with Oliver Cowdery serving as scribe.
Joseph and Emma left for a period of time to complete the translation of the Book of Mormon at Fayette, New York but they maintained Harmony as their residence until fall of 1830 when Joseph and Emma left for good. There is no extant record of Emma ever seeing her parents again. After living out their days, Isaac and Elizabeth passed away and were buried in the little cemetery adjacent to the Smith Harmony home.
The original home of Isaac and Elizabeth Hale burned down in the 1870s and a second home on the site was constructed but later torn down in the 1950s. The original foundation was filled in to preserve it. In 2015 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reconstructed the home on its original site. Along with the rebuilt home of Joseph and Emma Smith and a new visitors’ center, it was dedicated as part of the Priesthood Restoration Site by President Russell M. Nelson on September 19, 2015."