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Palmyra (New York)

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'''Palmyra''' [] is a village and surrounding town in the [[Finger Lakes]] region of [[New York (state)|New York]]. It In the nineteenth century, it was a center for religious revivalism, but today it's one of the most-visited villages along the Erie Canal. Palmyra is the birthplace of the Mormon church and claims to be the only community in the U.S. that has a four-corner intersection with a church on at each cornerone.
In the late 1780s, a group of settlers from Connecticut tried to stake the state's claim to land in northwestern [[Poconos and Endless Mountains|northeastern Pennsylvania]], due to overlapping provincial charters. Among those Connecticuters was one '''John Swift''', a Revolutionary War veteran. In 1789, with the venture in Pennsylvania bearing little fruit, Swift decamped for Western New York, where the Phelps and Gorham Purchase had large tracts of land for sale.
He purchased a tract (as did his fellow John Jenkins, though Swift soon bought him out) and in 1790 became the first permanent resident of what is now the Town of Palmyra. Swift's land was centered on '''Ganargua Creek''', and the community that sprouted up was initially known as '''Swift's Landing'''.
Despite that milestone, the area never embraced Smith's nascent religion (he had moved away in 1827 and never returned), and it wasn't until the year 2000 that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a temple here. But the founding is commemorated every year with the '''Hill Cumorah Pageant'''.
==Get in==
Although '''RTS'''—[[Rochester (New York)|Rochester]]'s municipal bus system—does run a bus out to Palmyra twice daily on weekdays, it's timed for commuters, not tourists. You'll most likely be taking a car.
As it does throughout Western New York, '''New York State Route 31''' parallels the Erie Canal through Palmyra, making it your best option for arriving from the east or west. It enters from [[Lyons (New York)|Lyons]] from the east and from [[Macedon]] from the west. From the north and south, '''New York State Route 21''' will get you to Palmyra, connecting to [[Williamson (New York)|Williamson]] and [[Marion (New York)|Marion]] northward and to [[Manchester (New York)|Manchester]] and [[Canandaigua]] southward.
==Get If you're coming from farther afield, you'll want to take the east-west '''New York State Thruway''' (Interstate 90). Take Exit 43 and follow Route 21 north for about six miles. Once you're in==town, free public parking is available in a number of lots along Route 31 (Main Street) and at the public parks. If you have a boat, you can take a scenic cruise into Palmyra along the historic '''Erie Canal''', which runs right through town. Dock at the '''Port of Palmyra Marina''', just east of the Division Street bridge.
==Get around==
Palmyra's downtown area is quite walkable, and that's where you'll find most of the shops, eateries, and lodging. If you're exploring the canal, the '''Erie Canal Heritage Trail''' is great for walking or biking, though it's over a mile from the downtown/marina area to the far end of Aqueduct Park.
If you want to head south to the Latter-day Saints sites, take your car or bike; they're three or four miles away, along a country road with no sidewalks.
The word "charming" is perhaps overused in tourism brochures to describe exactly the sort of village that Palmyra is. If you're easily charmed by such sites, then Palmyra won't disappoint. In truth, though, there's not a lot here that you can't find in other similar canalside villages throughout the region.
Still, Palmyra's claim to be the Queen of Erie Canal Towns is not entirely unfounded. You can easily spend a day here browsing the shops, strolling the canal, and taking in the sights and sounds. Traffic is relatively light, and there are few cookie-cutter retail chains spoiling the atmosphere.
===Latter-day Saints sites===
* <see name="Hill Cumorah and Historic Sites" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price="Everything is completely free">The Smith family farm was over a mile south of the village, straddling the border between the Towns of Palmyra and Manchester; Hill Cumorah is another couple of miles south. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains a small visitors center at Hill Cumorah, along with an assortment of historical sites around the area.</see>
** <see name="Hill Cumorah Visitors Center" alt="" address="603 Route 21" directions="4 mi S of village, 2 mi N of Thruway Exit 43" phone="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 12:30PM-9PM; close 2 hr earlier Nov-Mar" price=""></see>
* The '''Palmyra New York Temple''' of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the first such Temple built in New York State and is located adjacent to Hill Cummorah. Keep in mind that only Mormons who are in good standing with the Church are permitted inside the Temple itself, however the beautifully maintained grounds and gardens are open to all, along with the visitors center.
*Other Church historical sites in the general vicinity of the Temple:

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