Historic Kirtland Sites to Reopen to Visitors May 28
May 9, 2021 by Staff Report

After months of closure, Historic Kirtland, a restored Western Reserve village, is set to reopen to the public May 28 on a limited basis.

After months of closure, Historic Kirtland, a restored Western Reserve village, is set to reopen to the public May 28 on a limited basis.

Tour guides at the site, which depicts life in the 1830s when the tiny town served as headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1830-1839), will welcome visitors and conduct in-person tours observing strict Covid-19 protocols.

The reopening will be done in phases. The first phase will consist of in-person guided tours by reservation from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from 1-7 p.m. Tours will be limited to eight visitors to accommodate for two tour guides.

Those traveling in larger groups will need to break up into smaller groups and schedule their visit accordingly. Large tour groups (bus tours) cannot be accommodated during the first phase opening. Visitors will be ask to wear masks and observe social distancing where possible.

“We are so excited to welcome visitors back to the sites again,” Marilyn Walton, site co-director, said. “While we are asking for reservations during this first phase of reopening, we understand that people traveling through the area may drop in without a reservation and we will do all we can to accommodate them.”

She added, “Anyone is welcome to come and walk the grounds and enjoy the surroundings, but, when possible, we are asking visitors to plan their visits and make reservations for the guided tours.”

In addition to the main site, the Isaac Morely farm, located 1.5 miles from the restored village at 7800 Kirtland Chardon Road, and the Historic John Johnson farm, located about 30 miles away in Hiram at 6203 Pioneer Trail, will also open for tours and will observe the same hours and protocols.

Reservations for tours of all the sites can be secured by calling the visitor’s center at 440-256-9805.

For the time being, Walton said the Johnson Inn will remain closed because numerous interactive kiosks inside the museum could spread the virus.

“Better safe than sorry,” she added.

The village was shuttered in March 2020 when Gov. Mike DeWine issued a stay-at-home order due to the coronavirus pandemic. Virtual tours have been conducted for nearly a year.

Walton said the virtual tours will continue for those wishing to experience Historic Kirtland but are not comfortable with an in-person visit, or are unable to travel to Ohio.