Is this your first time here?

Each day, Clio connects thousands of people to nearby culture and history. Our website and mobile app are free for everyone and designed to make it easy to discover cultural and historical sites throughout the United States. You can search for nearby sites, take a walking tour, create your own itinerary, or simply go for a walk or drive and let Clio show you nearby sites using our mobile app. Clio is non-profit and free for everyone thanks to the support of people like you. Donations are tax- deductible! Click here to learn more!

Kanesville Tabernacle

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art ()


Located across the river from Omaha, Nebraska, sits the LDS Kanesville Tabernacle where in the winter of 1847 to 1849 a large section of the LDS encamped following its forced excodus from Nauvoo, Illinois. The larger cam was located in north Omaha and is known as Winter Quarters and saw more suffering than in Kanesville. Here at this Tabernacle, Brigham Young was officially called and sustained as the second Prophet and President of the LDS in 1847, over a year after Founder and Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother Hyrum were murdered in Carthage, north of Nauvoo. Built by 200 people, this structure was used for many purposes such as a place of worship and center for activities. Now the replica it serves as a visitors center and pioneer museum for the general public.

Statue in front of the tabernacle depicting the new First Presidency mapping out the encampments of the church in the area. L-R: Heber C. Kimball, Brigham Young and Willard Richards
Inside tabernacle
Mural depicting he sustaining of Brigham Young as the new prophet and president of the church
Sign to entrance of tabernacle
Statue "The Family, an Everlasting Heritage"
Kanesville Tabernacle
A replica of a handcart used by Mormon Pioneers as they trekked west
"The Foreman". Statue honors the men that constructed the tabernacle during the winter
These plaques contains Jesus the Christ, the Family Proclamation and a revelation given to Brigham Young regarding the call to go west and how the Saints should conduct themselves.


*From Mormon Historic Sites:

"The Kanesville Tabernacle was where Brigham Young was sustained as the second President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The tabernacle was constructed for the purpose of housing as many people as possible for a conference in December 1847 to reorganize the First Presidency of the Church. The conference was postponed so that a building large enough could be constructed.

The tabernacle, constructed in three weeks with the help of 200 men, was believed to be the largest log structure in the world.1After its completion, the First Presidency was reorganized, and on December 27, 1847, with over 1,000 people in attendance, Brigham Young was sustained as President and Prophet of the Church. Also, on October 21,1848, upon his return to the Church, Oliver Cowdery spoke to a large number of people gathered at a conference in the tabernacle; he “bore a strong testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, and declared that an angel conferred the Priesthood on Joseph Smith and himself.”2

The original tabernacle was dismantled in 1849 because of damage by the spring runoffs; the current structure is a replica. President Gordon B. Hinckley dedicated the rebuilt Kanesville Tabernacle on July 13, 1996. It now serves as a visitors’ center for people to learn about the Saints migration west to the Salt Lake Valley."


1 “Tabernacle of Log Replicated, Dedicated: ‘Herculean Task’ of First Building Done in 3 Weeks,” LDS Church News, July 20, 1996, Z3. 2 Richard E. Bennett, We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus 1846-1848 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1997), 325. Brian H. Stuy, ed., Collected Discourses, 5 vols. (Burbank, Calif., and Woodland Hills, Ut.: B.H.S. Publishing, 1987-1992). William G. Hartley, “Pushing on to Zion: Kanesville, Iowa, 1846-1853,” Ensign, August 2002, Vol. 32, 14-23. Gail George Holmes, “The First Mormon Tabernacle Is Rebuilt in Kanesville, Iowa,” Nauvoo Journal, Fall 1996, Vol. 8, No. 2, 71-73. Maurine Carr Ward and Fred E. Woods, “The ‘Tabernacle Post Office’ Petition for the Saints of Kanesville, Iowa,” Mormon Historical Studies, Spring 2004, Vol. 5, No. 1, 149-93.

222 East Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA 51503
Phone Number
712-322-0500 (Main)
Admission is free Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to dusk.
  • Agriculture and Rural History
  • Architecture and Historical Buildings
  • Religion
  • Urban History
  • Western/National Expansion
This location was created on 2015-12-08 by Mike Emett .   It was last updated on 2015-12-08 by Mike Emett .

This entry has been viewed 1527 times within the past year


  • No comments found.

Join The Discussion

Only registered users can comment. Registration is completely free!

Login / Register

ResponsiveVoice used under Non-Commercial License