If you're not sure what a Mormon is, let alone a Mormon Mention, allow me to explain: My name is Susan and I'm a Mormon (you've seen the commercials, right?). As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or LDS Church), I'm naturally concerned with how my religion is portrayed in the media. Because this blog is about books, every time I see a reference to Mormonism in a book written by someone who is not a member of my church, I highlight it here. Then, I offer my opinion—my insider's view—of what the author is saying. It's my chance to correct misconceptions, expound on principles of the Gospel, and even to laugh at my (sometimes) crazy Mormon culture.
In the first chapter of Like a River Glorious by Rae Carson, Lee and Jefferson talk about going to Mormon Island for supplies. The name, which I'd never heard before, naturally made me curious. I did a little Internet research and this is what I discovered:
In March of 1848, three former members of the Mormon Battalion stopped at the confluence of the north and south forks of the American River near Sacramento, California. There, they found gold. Their discovery brought other settlers to the area. A town grew up on the site; by 1853, more than 2500 people lived on Mormon Island. It had a school, motels, saloons, a winery, a post office, and other small shops. That population dwindled as the Gold Rush waned. When a fire burned down much of the town, it was never rebuilt. By the 1940s, only a few families remained. In the 1950s, the remains of the town were razed to make way for the Folsom Dam. What's left of Mormon Island is now under Folsom Lake. When the water there is very low, however, building foundations and other artifacts from the outskirts of the early settlement can be seen.
*Book cover image from Barnes & Noble; Mormon Lake photos from website for the Folsom Lake Marina
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