Ever since I moved to Buffalo, NY almost 5 years ago I have gotten the Family History bug, mostly because shortly after moving here I discovered I was a descendant of Solomon Chamberlin (sometimes spelled Chamberlain) and Nathan Harris, Father of Martin Harris. Solomon Chamberlin has been mentioned by Church history historians for years and I didn't know who he was, I just discovered his name by reading the book "The Martin Harris Story, with biographies of Emer Harris and Dennison Lott Harris ". Knowing that I was a descendant of Emer Harris, Martin's older brother I read this book and discovered in the book that Emer married a girl by the name of Polly Chamberlin, Solomon Chamberlins daughter. Polly was Emer's first polygamists wife and they had one child a daughter named Rebecca Harris who made it across the plains safely with her grandfather Solomon, and her father Emer, her mother Polly died at winter quarters.
Solomon Chamberlains life after and before gaining his testimony of the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was fascinating to me. My husband served his mission here in Western NY and served 6 months in Lyons, NY which is where the home of my great x 4 Grandfather Solomon lived. And that is when I learned that his home still stands today. It is located one mile NE of the village of Lyons at the three way junction of CR244 (Pilgrimport Road), CR 245 (Lock Berlin Road). and Bishop Rd. His home is a 1 1/2 story frame home (it was once a tavern). My brother Kyle and I had the opportunity to visit his home this past month. Here we are in front of the home that still stands in Lyons NY with the old Erie Canal across the street.
Here is a picture of his home with the old Erie canal across the street.
And here I am with my 4 children in front of the home.
Solomon was told of the Gold Bible and made his way to Joseph Smith's home and in his history he writes: "I soon made my way across lots, to Father Smith's and found Hyrum walking the floor. As I entered the door, I said, "Peace be to this house." He looked at me as one astonished, and said, "I hope it will be peace." I then said, "Is there anyone here that believes in visions or revelations?" He said, "Yes, we are a visionary house." I said, "Then I will give you one of my pamphlets, which was visionary, and of my own experience." They then called the people together, which consisted of five or six men who were out at the door. Father Smith was one and some of the Whitmer's. They then sat down and read my pamphlet. Hyrum read first, but was so affected he could not read it. He then gave it to a man, which I learned was Christian Whitmer, he finished reading it. I then opened my mouth and began to preach to them, in the words that the angel had made known to me in the vision, that all churches and denominations on the earth had become corrupt, and no church of God on the earth, but that he would shortly raise up a church that would never be confounded nor brought down and be like unto the Apostolic Church. They wondered greatly who had been telling me these things, for said they we have the same things wrote [written] down in our house, taken from the Gold record, that you are preaching to us. I said, "The Lord told me these things a number of years ago." I then said, "If you are a visionary house, I wish you would make known some of your discoveries, for I think I can bear them." They then made known to me that they had obtained a gold record, and just finished translating it here. Now, the Lord revealed to me by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost that this was the work I had been looking for.
Here I stayed 2 days and they instructed me, in the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon. After I had been here two days, I went with Hyrum and some others to Palmyra printing office where they began to print the Book of Mormon, and as soon as they had printed 64 pages, I took them with their leave and pursued my journey to Canada, and I preached all that I knew concerning Mormonism, to all both high and low, rich and poor, and thus you see this was the first that ever printed Mormonism was preached to this generation."
Solomon had a vision or a dream many years before this and he wrote a pamphlet and had it published and Brigham Young University found a copy.
Solomon Chamberlain of Lyons, New York, was accompanied to the print shop by Hyrum Smith, who handed him 64 pages from the new volume and as he stated took them into Canada to preach the gospel. This is when he came across Brigham Young and his brother Phineas and may have been the first missionary to come across Brigham Young. Brighams brothers Phineas and Joseph both visited Solomon at his home, the one pictured above, on their trips along the Erie Canal. After the church was organized, Solomon was one of the many that was baptized by Joseph Smith in Seneca Lake. Anyway, his history is fascinating and I loved learning all of the details.