Kathy Luke has a map of the Fox Islands on the wall of her Utah home, a souvenir of her visit to North Haven in September.
“We decided to go back to where the Luce family lived and the reason that is so important is because not only did they just live there,” she says, “but they also were taught what we call the Gospel of the Restored Church by Wilford Woodruff.”
Luke and her ancestors, the Luce family, are members of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter-Day Saints, a church that has a strong connection to North Haven.
According to Christian Heimburger, Ph.D., historian on the Joseph Smith Papers Project for the LDS Church History Department, Wilford Woodruff was a prolific and successful Mormon elder whose preaching missions took him from Arkansas to Ontario and across the Atlantic Ocean to Great Britain. In 1837 it also took him to the Fox Islands, then united as Vinalhaven.
“He ‘felt impressed by the Spirit of God to take a mission to the Fox Islands,’ a place he apparently ‘knew nothing about,'” Heimburger said, quoting from a recollection by Woodruff.