Rating the Suburbs - Kirtland

Barbara Walden, 31
Kirtland Temple site director
For many of our visitors, they think of Kirtland as a community that was, not is.

In Historic Kirtland, just down the hill, you can see a 19th-century ashery, which is the only one in North America, a sawmill, an 1830s schoolhouse and a general store. An ashery is a factory that converts hardwood ashes into products like lye or potash.

When Joseph Smith arrived in 1831, Kirtland was already an established community. There were 1,000 residents. By 1838, there were 3,000 residents, 2,000 of them Latter-day Saints. Kirtland became the headquarters for Joseph Smith’s church.

Come look at the leaves in the fall.

Some people say living in a small town is so boring and mundane, but that’s not true. You may run into the same people all the time, but they’re always doing something different. There’s a lot of stuff to do here.

The Kirtland City Tavern has the best burgers in all of Greater Cleveland.

Visitors from all 50 states and six continents come to Kirtland each year because of the Kirtland Temple. Last year we had a visitor who was staying in Antarctica, so we had all seven continents.

When you sit in RJ’s, you’ll see people go in that restaurant and sit there for hours. Everyone you know will walk in at some point.

Order the chocolate chip cheesecake at RJ’s.

We don’t even have our own post office. We have to go to the village liquor to send out our mail.

We are nestled in rolling hills, which keeps us from the busy life in Cleveland and Mentor. Yet we’re only three miles from lots of restaurants and a giant mall.

Yes, we still take hay rides.

For people who grew up in the city, they have the opportunity to milk a cow for the first time at Lake Farmparks.
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