Martin Harris home and Farm: Palmyra, NY


The home of Martin Harris once stood on this farm north of Palmyra Village. Martin was involved in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. He served as a scribe for the translation, took characters copied from the plates to scholars in New York City, lost the manuscript of the translation, and provided financial assistance to publish the Book of Mormon. The Lord commanded martin to mortgage his farm to pay the printer, which he lost when the citizens of Palmyra and vicinity boycotted buying the Book of Mormon. Martin’s involvement with the Book of Mormon and the loss of his farm led his wife, Lucy, to leave him.


• Having need of money to pay for his publishing of the Book of Mormon, E. B. Grandin sold the note for the Harris farm to Thomas Lakey. Soon thereafter, Mrs. Christina 41 Tuckett and Wilson, The Martin Harris Story, 51. Graves Grainger, a widow from England, arrived in Palmyra along with her father and four children. She brought with her $3000 in gold coin that she had carried across the ocean in a money belt fastened around her waist and hidden under her dress. Mrs. Graves purchased the Farm from Lakey for the original $3000 note. • The current house is not the original Martin Harris home. “The frame home which Martin had built early in his married life…had one and one-half stories and probably as many as nine rooms. It was of frame construction and painted white, which was unusual in that area. In 1849 it burned to the ground.”42 The home now on the property was built in 1850 by William Chapman, who had married Mrs. Christina Graves Grainger. It stands on the foundation of the original Harris home. The stones for the present home were taken from Lake Ontario.