Zion or Sion, section of Jerusalem, defined in the Bible as the City of David. Originally the name referred to the Jebusite fortress conquered by David, on the southeastern hill of Jerusalem. Zion was later applied to the hill where the Temple stood, and in turn came to denote the Temple area itself. Zion is symbolic of Jerusalem, of the Promised Land, of Israel's hope of returning to Palestine (hence the term Zionism), and of heaven or God's dwelling-place with his people.
Zion, city (1990 pop. 19,775), Lake co., extreme NE Ill., on Lake Michigan; inc. 1902. Largely residential, the city has some light industry. Zion was founded in 1901 by John Alexander Dowie, the Scottish founder of the Christian Catholic Church. Until 1935 the city was a communal society with a theocratic government; the church remains an important force there. Of note are the huge Zion Hotel (1902), and Shiloh House (1902), the mansion built for the Dowie family. Illinois Beach State Park is nearby.

Zion is a city in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 22,866 at the 2000 census, and estimated at 24,303 as of 2005. The city was founded in July 1901 by John Alexander Dowie. He also started the Zion Tabernacle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, which was the only church in town. It was built in the early 1900s and burned down in 1937.


Zion is located at (42.453221, -87.840222).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.2 square miles (21.2 km²), all of it land.

The city is one of only a few in the world to have ever been completely planned out before building. Dr. Dowie modeled the city layout after the union flag, because he was originally from Scotland and Australia. In the planning stage he mailed the mayors of many large cities across the world for suggestions on how to design the best city possible. A few of the recommendations were:

  • Make provisions for alley ways for utilities and garbage removal, and help keep the city looking clean
  • Have the houses face east and west so that thermal heat from the sun could be used to reduce heating bills
  • Build as many parks as possible

Some of the diagonal roads were never completed. The north-south roads in the original plan are all named from the Bible. The original east-west roads are numbered starting with 1 at the state line (now called Russell Rd.), although there are now new east-west roads which bear names. The city used to extend all of the way down to the lakefront until the state bought it to preserve the beach. Because most of the houses on the lakefront were owned by wealthy citizens, most of them were moved to places around what is now Sheridan Rd.

The former city seal was the subject of a Supreme Court case because it contained a religious symbol.

Major Streets

  • Sheridan Road
  • 21st Street
  • Green Bay Road
  • Galilee Avenue
  • 9th Street
  • Shiloh Boulevard
  • 29th Street
  • 33rd Street
  • Lewis Avenue

Illinois Beach State Park

Zion is the closest municipality to the Illinois Beach State Park: South Beach. The North Beach is in Winthrop Harbor, IL. The beach from Winthrop Harbor to Waukegan is now useless due to being contaminated with asbestos. The beach was originally part of Camp Logan, a rifle range developed by the Illinois National Guard in 1892. Then in World War I and World War II it served as rifle range for the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. The range remained in operation until 1973, when it was transferred to the Illinois Department of Conservation. In 1950, the Illinois Dunes Preservation Society was established to maintain the natural qualities of the beach. With the help of the Illinois Department of Conservation the area south of Beach Road was established as the state's first natural preserve. The northern beach, between beach road and the Wisconsin state border, were obtained between 1971 and 1982.

The south beach is now home of the Illinois Beach Resort and Conference Center The North Point Marina is at the north beach. This is Illinois' newest and largest marina.

On May 9, 2000, the area encompassing Illinois Beach State Park and North Point Marina was officially designated as the Cullerton Complex in honor of William J. Cullerton, Sr., war hero, avid environmentalist and long-time friend of conservation.


As of the census of 2000, there were 22,866 people, 7,552 households, and 5,558 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,789.5 people per square mile (1,076.7/km²). There were 8,036 housing units at an average density of 980.3/sq mi (378.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 58.76% White, 27.10% African American, 0.38% Native American, 1.87% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 7.80% from other races, and 4.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.25% of the population.

There were 7,552 households out of which 44.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.9% were married couples living together, 20.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96 and the average family size was 3.44.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.2% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,723, and the median income for a family was $50,378. Males had a median income of $37,455 versus $27,563 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,730. About 10.1% of families and 11.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.

See also


* *

External links

Search another word or see zionon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature