Zion Memorial United Church of Christ and cemetery was established in 1820 and is one of the oldest churches in the entire Dayton area. The church is located at the corner of South Dixie Drive and Stroop Road. The first congregation was 12 people and the church was a crude, hewed-log structure built of pioneer taste and simplicity (Photo #2). The structure was 38 x 46 feet with a stone foundation about 40 feet from the Cincinnati Pike (later the Great Miami Valley Turnpike and then South Dixie Drive).
Between 1820 and 1826, the first ministers were circuit riders on horseback who arrived disarrayed, filthy and unkept. They wore black hip length coats, wide brim hats, dirty shirts and black stings for ties. A decade later a stage line was established from Dayton to Cincinnati that ran right in front of the church.
In 1860 the congregation erected a two story building measuring 45 x 60 feet costing $3,500 including furniture. The new building was dedicated in May 1860 right before the Civil War. When people came to church they came for the entire day. In summer they came via wagons with heavy packed lunch baskets. When winter brought snow and cold, families bundled up and came in sleighs. In 1886 and again in May 1933 the church survived tornado damage to the roof, steeple and structure. In 1886 the Lutheran congregation split from the Reformed Church congregation and they built a separate church across the street (where the gas station is today). You can see both churches in the upper right hand corner of Photo #4 taken in 1917. Through the years Zion Memorial Church was enlarged with additional rooms and additional parking areas. A stroll through the old Zion Cemetery is a trip back in time as many of the elaborate tombstones are the resting place of the areas original pioneers, farmers and landowners.
The Moraine Historical Marker is located between the church and cemetery facing South Dixie Drive.