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Picturing history: Zion's Camp, Richmond, Ind.

Published: Wednesday, April 11 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

The main road in downtown Richmond, above, was once part of the National Road. For that short distance, the exact site of the Zion's Camp trail has been preserved.

Kenneth Mays

Joseph Smith's division of Zion's Camp reached Richmond, Ind., on May 17, 1834. Richmond is located in Wayne County, immediately west of the Ohio-Indiana border.

It was here that the group picked up the National Road and followed it to about 20 miles beyond Indianapolis. The main road in downtown Richmond was once part of the National Road. For that short distance, the exact site of the Zion's Camp trail has been preserved. In most instances, the precise routes are lost to farming, weather and erosion, urban sprawl and the like.

Leaving Richmond on May 19, members of the camp crossed the Whitewater River, right. Good sources of water were more readily available during the first half of the journey in Ohio and Indiana. Later on, in Illinois and Missouri, finding good water became more difficult at times and proved to be a formidable challenge to the camp.

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