Windows and Cabins

So you may be wondering about the wonderful round windows I feature on the heading of my blog.    They are the work of Charles Allen a master window maker.    I met him at his store, Allyn House when I was in Nauvoo in 2008.    I was very sad to find out that he passed away April of 2013.   His fascinating autobiography, Window Maker tells of the incredible building of the restored Nauvoo Temple.   His workshop is still on display in the Allyn House Shop and you can see these beautiful windows up close.


Detail of the Nauvoo Temple designed by architect William Weeks in 1845 and restored in 2002.

Why do the stars point downward?   These circular star windows are above the Sun Stones which cap each colonnade that encircle the temple.   The Sun Stones represent the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ being restored to the earth as the Sun rises out of the clouds of darkness.   All things point to this.  So the stars positioned above these sunstones on the temple are pointing to the central message of the temple.

Temple at sunset 62015The windows themselves carry symbolism of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is called the “bright and morning star” (Rev 22:16). The starstones on the Nauvoo Temple, some with their unique lengthened ray, are a symbol of Jesus Christ as the morning star. The morning star is Venus and has an extended ray downward.   The circle is a symbol of eternity and it is wholly fitting that the symbol of Jesus Christ in the circular windows (five-pointed stars) is framed by a circle.

Charles Allen also wanted to build a 2 story split log cabin using only tools that existed in 1840 here in historic Nauvoo.   He accomplished that in 1991 and built the Calvin Pendleton Log Cabin and Schoolhouse I told about in my last blog.   He cut down trees with hand saws,  scraped the bark off and hand planed all his lumber using crude tools.

As you enter the stairway to the second floor you will see the mark above the handle of the shovel.

As you enter the stairway to the second floor you will see the mark above the handle of the shovel.

Charles Allen,  had a particularly difficult day during construction, both personally and with the challenge of the build. He made a mark, his signature if you will, on the cabin wall, in recognition of the trials we all endure in this life.

The mark is an 'X' carved into the log.

The mark is an ‘X’ carved into the log.

It is powerful to see his mark, know that I once talked with him in Nauvoo and that I can share his cabin with visitors each day, and together we marvel at the industry of the saints in 1839 as they built their city in just 7 years.   Most of the homes were log homes in the bustling city.


How many homes?   In the city that rivaled Chicago at the time, the largest city in Illinois, there were 1500 log homes built, 650 frame homes and 350 brick homes.  The saints left 2500 homes empty when they left Nauvoo,  because their lives were threatened because of their religious beliefs.  Most of them received nothing from their homes and went west.   That’s the math quiz for today.  Now, remember the spelling quiz from the last post?  I know it was many months ago… so you might want to revisit that post for the quiz.

Answers:   POTATOES,  KNEES (OR NIECE), CUPBOARD,  SHOES, UTENSILS, ISSUE, WEARING APPAREL, and GIRL      How many did you get right?


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