A replica of a handcart was on display Friday evening for a community event at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Visitors were invited to view the handcart, enjoy refreshments and watch the film, “17 Miracles,” portraying the hardships of the LDS pioneers.
The Mormon handcart pioneers wanted to join their fellow church members in Utah, but lacked funds for full ox or horse teams. Nearly 3,000 Mormon pioneers from England, Wales, Scotland and Scandinavia traveled from Iowa or Nebraska to Utah in 10 handcart companies. Two of the companies — the Willie and Martin companies — started their journey late in the season and were caught in heavy snow and extreme temperatures in central Wyoming. More than 210 of the 980 people in the two companies died along the way despite a rescue effort from Salt Lake City.
The replica of a handcart was brought to Herkimer from the Delhi Branch of the LDS Church, according to Steve Schorer, a member of the Herkimer Branch. He said the handcart pioneers piled their belongings into these carts and pulled them on a journey of more than 1,000 miles.