The exodus of the Mormon people from Illinois across the Great Plains to the Salt Lake Valley was the most monumental movement of a people in the settlement of the American West. In 1846, the first pioneers, led by Brigham Young, crossed Iowa, and this proved to be the most difficult part of their journey. The weather, the terrain and emigrants' lack of experience and preparation tested their faith and strength, but their single-minded desire to reach a safe home in the West forged them into a strong people.
Wend Your Way: A Guide to Sites Along the Mormon Trail tells the story of this great movement through Iowa. Tracing the trail from east to west through 12 counties the guide includes:
Mormon Trail history for each county
Directs visitors to the 27 interpretive roadside panels that were constructed on the trail by U.S. National Park Service and Iowa Mormon Trails Association
Reproduces the poignant illustrations that author L. Matthew Chatterley drew for these wayside exhibits
Provides a map and directions by county to guide travelers to the route of the Mormon Trail, sites of Mormon camps and settlements and the interpretive roadside panels
Lists other locations in southern Iowa that visitors will want to explore
L. Matthew Chatterley is a student of Iowa history whose ancestors traveled the Mormon Trail more than 150 years ago. Educated as an artist at Brigham Young University, he has worked as an artist, illustrator, and designer for several newspapers. He is now senior artist at The Des Moines Register.
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