Palmyra: The historic canal town and Mecca for Mormons

There are two historical Palmyras, and, unfortunately, they seem to attract different visitors. There is the old canal town, and there’s the birthplace of the Mormon church.

A young woman from Samoa was soft-spoken and polite as she led a group of tourists around the Grandin Building on Main Street in downtown Palmyra. It’s the place where the first Book of Mormon was printed. She asked one of the three or four children in the group about a story in the Book of Mormon and helped the little girl come up with the correct answer. Then the young woman paused and said, “I know” the Book of Mormon is true.

Another young woman, this one from Utah, is soft-spoken and polite as she leads a slightly larger group of tourists around, first, to a replica of a log cabin where Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, lived in the early 19th century and then through a larger, frame house where the Smith family later lived. She, too, asks questions of children in the group and also gently helps them with the answers. And she, too, says, with the same gentle emphasis, “I know” the Book of Mormon is true.

Read the rest of this story at
Comments and feedback can be sent to