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The Dunn Plat: An Adaptation of Joseph Smith’s Plan for the City of Zion in 19th-Century Virginia

Saturday, June 4 at 10:30am to 11:30am

Please join us at the Library for a presentation on a compelling artifact of Virginia’s urban planning history. In 2015, the Library of Virginia acquired a plat of an unnamed location that staff members originally described as a “mystery town.” Research revealed, however, that the late-19th-century manuscript plan drafted by Petersburg civil engineer T. R. Dunn follows the precepts of Joseph Smith’s Plan for the City of Zion. Smith, who founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), issued the Zion plan in 1833 as a set of instructions for how the faithful were to lay out future LDS communities.

Presented by Joseph W. Grubbs, who led the Library’s research into the Dunn plat, this talk will explore the extensive analysis that confirmed the plat’s adherence to Smith’s Zion plan, including land-use characteristics and the development pattern envisioned for the prospective settlement. 

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Klaczynski at or 

This is a free event. Registration is suggested.

Library of Virginia, Conference Rooms A & B
800 E Broad St, Richmond, VA 23219




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