The New York Times has a nice article about the Church’s “Historic Kirtland”. It quotes some locals, as well as people from both the LDS and CoC churches.
Tim Powell remembers when the “Utah Mormons” first came to town with their plans in the early 1990s.
The Mormon faith’s first temple has stood for 174 years in Kirtland, Ohio, the site of the church’s headquarters in the 1830s.
They wanted to recreate a historic village that would explain the role this city played as the Mormon Church’s headquarters in the 1830s and celebrate the fact that the faith’s first temple is here…
Mr. Powell, who has lived in Kirtland all his life and been on the City Council for 14 years, and some others did not like the idea. He had read how Mormons had swept into two other towns that played significant roles in the church’s founding — Palmyra, N.Y., and Nauvoo, Ill. — resulting in conflicts with non-Mormons.
“In other places you could see the Mormons were taking over those towns,” said Mr. Powell, 55.
Mr. Powell fought the church’s project every step of the way, worried, he said, about allowing such a relatively large tourist development in the middle of town.
But now, eight years after it was completed, Mr. Powell concedes that he was wrong. “I was a skeptic,” he said. “But now that the dust has settled, I think people are pretty happy with it.”
I’ve never been to Nauvoo, but if I had to choose between Palmyra and Kirtland, I’d choose Kirtland in a second. I love going through the temple, and walking around the “Historic Kirtland” area. I also love the quarry. I know what you see isn’t from the same time frame, but you can still get a pretty good idea of what they had to do to get stone for the temple.