By Elbert A. Smith
By Virginia Brown
This painting brings to life the secluded waterfall in the little glen in Nauvoo, Illinois known as David's Chamber. She painted the falls as they appeared in a black and white photograph taken by Bishop N. Ray Carmichael in the 1930s.
A little way down the river from the Mansion House, and back in the hills, there was a waterfall and above the fall among the rocks and trees there was an amphitheater which I have been told by numerous people was a favorite resort to which father [David H. Smith] went as a lad to read and write and paint. This no doubt was the place to which the writer of the foregoing letter had reference. When I wrote my book, Timbers for the Temple, I gave to this place the name, “David’s Chamber.” It has come to be known by that name, and frequently during reunions or Youth Camps at Nauvoo our people have gathered there for worship. (Elbert A. Smith, On Memory’s Beam, p. 37)
Saints who visit Nauvoo today find that the state of Illinois has made David’s Chamber a part of the state park system. The area is mowed and cleaned regularly, and picnic tables have been added. The area is located just east of Highway 96 about a half of a mile south of Nauvoo (Vision 2:5–6).
Prints of the above painting are available in various sizes for purchase at the Restoration Bookstore or from our online store.