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Palmyra Wedding Resources (more information)

Palmyra, NY

The prehistoric "Adena Culture" left mounds in the area. According to Charles Skinner, the area was also sacred to the Onondagas, the priestly class of the Algonquins. Mr. Skinner, however, was in error, as the Onondagas are a tribe of the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee residing in central New York State (centered around Onondaga County). The Iroquois are linguistically and ethnically distinct from the Algonquin ethnolinguistic group of peoples who lived to their east and southeast.

Palmyra was part of the Phelps and Gorham Purchase.

The Town of Palmyra, originally called "Swift's Landing" and "District of Tolland," was created in 1789. During that year was the sole local encounter between natives and white settlers that resulted in deaths. The present name was adapted in 1796, reportedly to impress a new school teacher. There were almost one thousand people in the town in 1800.

The Erie Canal was completed up to Palmyra in 1822, although the canal was not completed to its western terminus until 1825.

In 1823, the Town of Macedon was formed from part of Palmyra's territory as part of the creation of Wayne County from Ontario County.

Birth of Mormon Movement

This region is the birthplace of the Mormon Movement, the largest body of which is officially known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since the 1840s. Founder Joseph Smith claimed to have had a visitation by God the Father and Jesus Christ here in 1820  as well as receiving the Golden Plates in 1827. To his followers, the Book of Mormon is the translation of the Golden Plates; it was first published in Palmyra on March 26, 1830, by E.B. Grandin. That same year the Mormon church was formally organized in Fayette, New York, a town about 45 minutes from Palmyra. Members of the new religion moved farther west because of persecution after about 1831. The area has been re-inhabited by many members of this group. The Hill Cumorah Pageant is held every summer in the town, using the side of a drumlin or hill, called the Hill Cumorah, as a stage. The pageant recreates events described in the Book of Mormon, most notably the visitation of Jesus Christ to the Americas. The Pageant draws tourists to the area every year. The LDS Church have also built a temple in Palmyra, and have restored or recreated many homes and structures associated with Smith, his family and early Mormon history.
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