Road to Zion
Road to Zion
From the late 1840's through the 1860's an exodus of more than 70,000 Mormons passed by here on their way to their way to "New Zion" in Utah. Starting from Nauvoo, Illinois in February 1846, the first group of at least 13,000 Mormons crossed into Iowa to escape religious persecution, then spent the next winter in the area of present-day Council Bluffs, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska.
In 1847, Brigham Young led an advance party of 143 men, 2 women, and 3 children along the Platte River. At Fort Bridger, Wyoming they departed from the Oregon Trail to head southwest to the Great Salt Lake. Thousands of other Mormons soon followed. Today a marked 1,624-mile auto tour route closely parallels their historic trek.
From 1856 to 1860, most Mormon converts coming from Europe traveled by rail to Iowa City, Iowa. They then walked more than 1,200 miles to Salt Lake City pushing and pulling handcarts loaded with 500 pounds of supplies. After 1860, the Mormon church sent oxen drawn wagon trains from salt Lake City to bring emigrants west to the "New Zion"
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