Zion is a city in Lake County, Illinois, United States. The population was 22,866 at the 2000 census, and had grown to 24,413 as of 2010.
The city was founded in July 1901 by John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907), a Scots-Australian evangelical minister and faith healer who had immigrated to the United States in 1888. By 1890 he had settled in Chicago, where he built a large faith healing business (which included a large mail order component) and had attracted thousands of followers.
He bought land 40 miles north of Chicago to found Zion, where he personally owned all the land and most businesses. The city was named after Mount Zion, Israel.
Dowie also founded the Zion Tabernacle of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church, which was the only church in town. The structure was built in the early 1900s and burned down in 1937, during the Great Depression.
Zion is located at 42°27′12″N 87°50′25″W.
According to the 2010 census, Zion has a total area of 9.813 square miles (25.42 km2), of which 9.81 square miles (25.41 km2) (or 99.97%) is land and 0.003 square miles (0.01 km2) (or 0.03%) is water.
Zion is the closest municipality to South Beach within Illinois Beach State Park. The North Beach is in Winthrop Harbor. The beach was originally part of Camp Logan, developed in 1892 as a rifle range by the Illinois National Guard. In World War I and World War II, it served as a 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.