“Quashquema (a peaceful place)”
Nauvoo's first name was Quashquema, a Fox Indian word meaning "peaceful place." Nauvoo, a Hebrew word for "beautiful place" or "pleasant land", is a historic town and the backdrop for Nauvoo State Park. On the banks of the Mississippi River in western Illinois' Hancock County, the 148-acre park, on the south edge of Nauvoo along Illinois Route 96, includes a 13-acre lake with a mile-long shoreline. In addition to fishing, boating, camping and hiking, people return to these serene surroundings for the park's recreational features, its annual grape festival and to soak up the area's history. A 4-acre plot of land adjacent to the site superintendent's residence has been converted into a natural area. Four kinds of prairie grasses and approximately 10 kinds of prairie flowers are grown here. If you're visiting here in the spring, you may find the area burnt to a crisp--that's because the grasses must be burned periodically to help the prairie renew itself.Deer, skunk, opossum and raccoon are among the animals that call Nauvoo State Park home. Cardinals and goldfinches find this spot on the Mississippi a perfect place to nest, as do geese and ducks. The welcome mat is especially out for wood ducks, who will nest just about anywhere. A house built by Mormons in the 1840s, remodeled by Icarians, and later owned by the Rheinberger family serves as the Nauvoo State Park Museum. The restored home features a wine cellar and a press room, and is the only Nauvoo wine cellar open to the public. This also is the location of Nauvoo's first vineyard, which has been producing grapes since the mid-1800s. The museum itself exhibits artifacts from all periods of Nauvoo's history, from Native American occupation to the introduction of Nauvoo Blue Cheese in the 1930s. The museum is staffed by the Nauvoo Historical Society and is open 1-5 P.M. from May 1 through October 15.
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Nauvoo State Park
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