A part of Susquehanna County's history is going to be showcased in a big way and by an organization that may be a surprise: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
The church says the Mormon religion was started in Susquehanna County, and the church is building a historic center on the site of its founder's home.
Despite the rainy weather on Thursday, the work was going strong, getting these structures off the ground in Susquehanna County.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known also as Mormonism, is building a historic religious center on Route 171 near Susquehanna borough.
Folks in Susquehanna, they're impressed with how it looks already.
“It's great. We're really thrilled with the whole idea because they're doing a wonderful job on the business, really beautiful building,” said Joann Olivo, owner of Olivo's Pizza.
The main building will hold a visitors center and meeting house or chapel.
The church says the location it sits on is considered sacred ground since this where the church's founder, Joseph Smith, is believed to have lived during the 1800s.
The church says it was here in Oakland Township where Smith received the Priesthood from John the Baptist and started the Mormon religion.
Once the center opens, the church expects thousands of its members will visit the site yearly.
That's good news for area businesses.
“We're always looking for a lot of new people, the way the economy is these days you don't know from day to day how busy your business is going to be,” said Tara Burlingame at the Depot Restaurant.
“We need people to come in a see the little town and we're thrilled. We're hoping that there are more and more business come in with that influx of people,” said Olivo.
The church is also building a replica of home where Smith lived with his wife, Emma, during which time he transcribed a large portion of the Book of Mormon.
Some residents says they didn't know the Mormon religion began here.
They say showcasing the historic site with the new center will help to spread that story.
“I didn't know until a couple years ago, so it's just a little spot they had out there,” said Olivo.
The church says the center is expected to open in the late summer or early fall of next year.