The Cooper's Shop
taken by Bruce Satterfield)
This is a reconstruction of the Smith Family cooper's shop. A cooper's shop was where barrels were made. The following etching found at the Smith Family Farm illustrates the cooper's trade.
The gold plates
which had first been placed in a locked wooden box, and later hid under
the the fireplace hearth in the Smith home, were next hid in the loft
of the cooper's shop. Lucy Mack Smith wrote: "In a short
received another intimation of the approach of a mob, also of the
necessity of removing the Record and breast-plate from the place
wherein they were secreted, consequently he took them out of the box in
which they were placed, and wrapping them in clothes, carried them
across the road to a cooper's shop and laid them in a quantity of flax
which was stowed in the shop loft. After which he nailed up the box
again, then tore up the floor of the shop and put it under the same.
"As soon as night
came, the mob came also and commenced ransacking the place. They
rummaged round the house and all over the premises, but did not come
into the house. After making satisfactory search, they went away.
"The next morning
we found the floor of the cooper's shop torn up and the box which was
laid under it shivered in pieces.
"In a few days
afterwards we learned the cause of this last move--why their curiosity
led them in the direction of the cooper's shop. A young woman by the
name of Chase, sister to Willard Chase, found a green glass through
which she could see many very wonderful things, and among her great
discoveries she said that she saw the precise place where "Joe Smith
kept his gold Bible hid," and obedient to her directions, the mob
gathered their forces and laid siege to the cooper's shop.
"Notwithstanding their disappointment in not finding the plates in the shop, their confidence was not in the least shaken in Miss Chase, for they still went from place to place by her direction, determined to get, if possible, the much desired object of their search." (History of Joseph Smith, p.113)
The following is a picture of the loft.