Each year Nauvoo, Illinois, with its small population of 1,100 attracts over 200,000 visitors.  Often called the Williamsburg of the Midwest, Nauvoo is a National Historic Landmark District with over 60 restored historic sites. Live stage productions, horse-drawn wagon tours, activities for children, museums, visitor centers, and seasonal events bring Nauvoo’s past to life—and most of these are free.

On Friday, September 3, 2010, at 3:00 p.m., a new attraction will be launched in Nauvoo with the opening ceremony of “The Way We Were” Walking Tour of Mulholland Street.  Although much of Nauvoo’s restored history has focused on the Mormon pioneering period (1839-1846), this new attraction will expand the portrait of Nauvoo’s past.  Visitors can take a free self-guided walking tour of Mulholland Street’s business district and discover how the French Icarians, Sisters of St. Benedict, and local businesses defined Nauvoo from the 1850s to the1960s.

The opening ceremony of “The Way We Were” Walking Tour will be held at the Walking Tour Interpretive Park on the 1200 block of Mulholland Street.  Nauvoo welcomes local residents and visitors to attend. The program will feature a description of the project and presentations on three interpretive panels dedicated to Mulholland Street merchants, French Icarians, and Sisters of St. Benedict. Brochures and information sheets will be available to guests, who may take a short guided walking tour of “The Way We Were.”  Following the program, a reception will be held at Grandpa John’s Café. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will also be held at the Café.

After the grand opening, this self-guided walking tour will begin at the Interpretive Park on Mulholland Street.  Visitors may relax on a memorial bench, read the interpretive panels, and pick up a brochure describing the route.  At various locations, visitors will read information sheets with pictures and chronological histories of businesses featured on the tour. Karen Ihrig Gilbert, Project Planner, Developer, and Coordinator of the Walking Tour, stated that a “sense of place” beckoned residents to preserve their own memories and, in the process, expand what others might learn about this historic Illinois town.

For more information, visit http://www.beautifulnauvoo.com  or contact the Nauvoo Tourism Office at 217-453-6648.