Knight Family News
Joseph Knight Sr. Ancestral Farmhouse is Now Open for Visitors Historical Tour Planned for September 12-15, 2016

After nearly 12 years of restoration construction, the historical Joseph Knight Sr. Ancestral Farmhouse is open during May through the first part of October. After nearly 200 years, the Joseph Knight Sr. home has been beautifully restored with authentic artifacts and furnishings complementary to the time period and historical authenticity of rural New York State. Starting the summer of 2015, volunteer docents live in accommodations annexed to the home and conduct tours for interested persons and groups.

The Knight and Stowell homes are more than a museum-quality tour stop. They represent historical centerpieces to the early period of the Restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, history which has largely been neglected to date.

The “Cradle of the Restoration” begins in Palmyra with the First Vision of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith Jr. and the eventual publication of the Book of Mormon. A short distance to the south is the Peter Witmer Jr. farm at Fayette, NY. Here the Church was officially organized among other events.

Approximately two hours further south is the hamlet of Nineveh, formerly called Colesville Township, and Afton, NY. The Colesville Branch, the first official branch of the Church, was centered in Colesville at the Knight home with Hyrum Smith as the first branch president. Just a few minutes away in Afton, NY, is the restored home of Josiah Stowell, who figured prominently in early Church history. Here Joseph Smith and Emma Hale married and honeymooned.

Driving 30-minutes down Windsor Road along the picturesque Susquehanna River, where the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored, is the marvelous Priesthood Restoration Site, dedicated September 19, 2015, at Harmony, PA. There is so much to see in the new visitor center, the Isaac and Elizabeth Hale home, the cabin home of Joseph and Emma Smith, where over 70% of the Book of Mormon translation took place with scribe Oliver Cowdery, the sites of the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist and the baptisms of Joseph and Oliver.

With the opening of the Knight home, the Stowell home, and the Priesthood Restoration Site, combined with the history of Palmyra and Fayette, NY, visitors now have a more complete picture and expanded appreciation of the early events of the Restoration of the Church. Our heartfelt appreciation to the owners Raphael and Shari Mecham, Steve and Pat Glenn, and Paul and Ann Painter for their tireless dedication and devotion to the restoration of these historical homes, over the past 12 years.

For more visitor information, contact Raphael Mecham at 480-323-5947 or The address of the Joseph Knight home: 1963 East Windsor Road, Nineveh, NY 13813. Visit

SPECIAL NOTICE! A custom historical tour for descendants of Joseph Knight Sr. and the Colesville Branch, is now offered through Mormon Heritage Association for September 12-15, 2016. Contact Patty Steadman, 801-272-5601 or email: Mormon Heritage is now taking tour reservations with a limited number of 50 seats.

The Joseph Knight Sr. Farmhouse History, Dedication, and Updates

June 2, 2012, Nineveh NY.
On a beautiful Saturday morning, as the rain clouds cleared over a farm along the Susquehanna, 30 people gathered at the original property and house of Joseph Knight Sr. for an Open House and Dedication of a newly erected monument and the 10-acre property which surrounds it. The monument which features the prophet Joseph, his brother Hyrum Smith, the first president of the Colesville Branch, and a plaque with a quote from Newel Knight regarding their time spent sharing the gospel, was built to honor the Colesville Branch and the always-faithful extended Knight family, the founding members of the first branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The owners, the Colesville Branch Restoration Group, include three families dedicated to the memories of the early saints: the “Glens” of Provo, and the “Mechams” and “Painters” of Tempe, Arizona. They were hopeful to have Joseph Knight descendants at the special occasion. Following a successful effort to find relatives who lived close enough to travel to the Open House, eight Knight descendants were excited, honored and grateful to be witnesses of the event. Some were from nearby towns and others from the Washington DC area. Other attendees included local members, neighborhood friends, and the local Utica New York Mission President and his wife. The thoughts expressed in the meeting and dedication were special and focused on the faithfulness of the early saints and the continued building up of Zion both regionally and along family lines through honoring the sacrifices of our ancestors.