Joseph Smith began the journey from Jackson County, Mo., to Ohio on Aug. 9, 1831, by canoe on the Missouri River.
On Aug. 11, the History of the Church reports that "many of the dangers so common upon the western waters manifested themselves." The group camped on the banks of the river at a site called McIlwaine's Bend. It was there that William W. Phelps, "in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision."
The next morning, the group had prayer, and the Prophet received a revelation, now Section 61 http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/61?lang=eng
of the Doctrine and Covenants. Over the years, the course of the river has changed enough that McIlwaine's Bend is no longer there. However, Max H. Parkin writes that the Prophet's group was 100 miles from Independence when these events unfolded. That is where these photos were taken, near the small town of Miami, Mo.