Visit the Museum
The Tomb of Joseph Museum is located on the lower level of the Nauvoo Mercantile building.
How much does it cost?
Admission is free
Are reservations required?
No, but with groups larger than 10, they are recommended.
1200 Mulholland Street, Nauvoo, Illinois
Open Year Round — Monday - Friday
Currently open from 9-6. Private tours outside of regular operating hours are available by request.
The museum is wheelchair accessible.
About the Museum
Joseph Smith, Jr., commissioned Nauvoo Temple architect William Weeks to design a tomb for his family. After the death of his father, Joseph wanted a place for his parents, siblings, and children to be buried together. His desire was to be with his family, and he believed that by being buried in the same place as them, he would see them all again in the morning of the first resurrection.
The tomb was completed in 1844, but after the Saints left Nauvoo in 1846, knowledge of the tomb and its location became lost. Since the Prophet and his family were never interred there, it was no longer a key location to remember, and its location was unintentionally shrouded in mystery. However, references to its location were left behind.
In the Museum, guests explore the history of Nauvoo before Joseph Smith's death, how the tomb played a role in the way events unfolded after his Martyrdom, and about the potential locations where the tomb may have been located. Guests have the chance to step inside the archeological site that exposed one such location and determine for yourself whether the tomb was an important part of Joseph Smith, Jr.'s story.
A full-scale reproduction of the façade (based on William Weeks's drawings) is located at the back of the Nauvoo Mercantile building.