Saturday, September 23, 2023

Circleville and Enon, Ohio, and Zion's camp

I've visited Circleville, Ohio, where they initially built the city with the earthworks in mind but later changed them. The drawing below was made in 1836.

In 1834, Joseph Smith led Zion's Camp through Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, which he described as "the plains of the Nephites." 

They did not pass through Circleville, but when they were about 55 miles west of Circleville, they encountered a large mound in Enon, Ohio. I've visited that site. This is where Joseph related the account I added later in this post.

(click to enlarge)



Circleville, Ohio

Mid-1800's illustration of how Circleville, Ohio was initially laid out to incorporate an ancient Native American circular earthwork with multiple rings. There was a square earthwork attached to it but that was destroyed. Not long after this illustration was made the city decided to redo the town's layout and the circle was destroyed and replaced by square grid streets.


Enon Mound

On Friday, May 16, 1834, the members of Zion’s Camp were approaching the town of Dayton, Ohio. According to James Bradley, at about 9:00 in the morning they passed “through a thicket of small timber, and their view of what was beyond was blocked.” They were close to what is now the town of Enon, Clark County, Ohio. It was there that the Prophet Joseph Smith felt depressed in spirit and commented that they were near a site where there had been much bloodshed. Citing members of the company, Bradley continues: “We soon came out of the timber where a large farm had been cleared, and to the left of the road was a mound sixty feet high, occupying about one acre of ground. We went to the mound and found that holes had been dug in it, which disclosed that it was filled with human bones.”

According to Joseph Smith’s published history, he said on this occasion, “that whenever a man of God is in a place where many have been killed, he will feel lonesome and unpleasant, ad his spirits will sink.” In Enon there is a Native American burial site known as the Adena Mound, one of many such sites in the general region. It is very close to where Joseph had those depressing feelings. The community of Enon, has identified and preserved the site. This canonical mound is the second largest of many other such burial sites in Ohio. It has been estimated in several published sources that the mound was built up over time by Native Americans between 1200 B.C. and 800 A.D.


Route of Zion's Camp in Ohio

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