During the period when the Prophet Joseph Smith lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, he often preached to the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outdoors at several different sites referred to as the groves.
One such site, known as the West Grove, was located on or near the hill that descends from the temple site on the bluffs down to the Nauvoo flats, closer to the Mississippi River. The West Grove was the site of such historic events as the funeral sermon for the Prophet Joseph, which was preached by William W. Phelps (see “Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise,” by Glen M. Leonard, page 403.)
Several years ago, a parcel of land at the site of the former West Grove was fenced off. This was to keep visitors out of an area that, up to that time, had been a field of ordinary lawn. Signage at the fence now explains: “In the 1840s, this hill was home to a small group of trees called the West Grove. Latter-day Saints gathered in the grove to learn gospel truths from the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders. After the Saints left Nauvoo, the trees were cut down for firewood and lumber. In 2015, saplings of those same species of trees were planted here. They will be allowed to grow naturally, protected by this fence. When the trees are mature, visitors will be able to enter this sacred place.”
In the meantime, a site representing what were once the groves in Nauvoo has been recreated to remind visitors of the role the groves once played in Nauvoo. That site is in a grove of trees on the west side of Partridge Street, just south of Mulholland Street.