Ringgold Honors Cherokee History with Historic Marker

Friday, September 27, 2013
New marker commemorates one of Catoosa County's Founding Fathers: Cherokee Chief Richard Taylor.
New marker commemorates one of Catoosa County's Founding Fathers: Cherokee Chief Richard Taylor.
- photo by Joseph Brellenthin

The Ringgold Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) unveiled the first historical narrative tablet highlighting Native American experience in Ringgold featuring Taylor in conjunction with the Celtic Festival last month.  

The marker denotes the tremendous contributions of the founding father of the region for which 'Taylor’s Crossroads' was initially named. The community was renamed to Ringgold in 1847 a few years after Taylor led a group on the Trail of Tears. 

 “We unveiled the tablet on the 175 anniversary of the beginning of that group’s journey Sept. 20, 1838, remembering our connection to one of the saddest periods in our nation’s history,” said CVB Vice Chairman Randall Franks. 

 The CVB is currently planning additional markers that tell the story of the various peoples who made their homes along the creek in Ringgold Gap placing them throughout the trail system, according to  Franks. 

"We have so many people both residents and visitors who utilize our nature trail. The CVB is focusing on enhancing the walking experience in Ringgold with unique markers that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said Ronal Graham, Ringgold CVB chairman. The marker is at the parking entrance of the Richard Taylor Nature Trail off Emberson Drive in Ringgold.

The tablet tells the story of how Taylor held a leadership role among the Cherokees for much of his adult life, serving as one of 13 members of the Cherokee National Committee, representing the Chickamauga District of the original Cherokee Nation as a delegate to Washington on numerous occasions, and eventually being elected as assistant chief.

Franks, also an award-winning journalist and author, compiled the information for the tablet but credited historians William H.H. “Bill” Clark, Nancy Crowe, and the late Susie Blaylock McDaniel, Janet and David G. Campbell, Norman Lansford and Cherokee.org for their work in recording some of the history featured and Rachel Brown for editing.

Clark attended the unveiling and spoke briefly about Taylor saying that he knew at least three presidents personally as well as a U.S. Supreme Court chief justice. "When compared with his times and contemporaries, he was probably the most outstanding man the Catoosa County area has produced,” he said. Taylor operated an inn, tavern, tollgate, saw mills and grist mills at Taylor’s Crossroads, according to Clark.

"Funding for the narrative tablets are provided by hotel/motel tax funds paid for by visitors as they stay in the community and must be used to enhance the experience of tourists in the community," Graham said.

“Folks travel from around the region to marry in Ringgold,” said Franks. “Some of the favorite stories that folks like to share are the famous people who started their lives here. We are honored to get those stories placed where residents and visitors can enjoy them.”

CVB Members, and Eastern Cherokee Tribe Member Alva Crowe and his wife Nancy unveil a new marker to commemorate Richard Taylor's legacy. From left are (in red) Bill Clark; (in pink) Raye Brooks; (in green) Randall Franks; (in white) Alva Crowe; (in grey) Nancy Crowe.
CVB Members, and Eastern Cherokee Tribe Member Alva Crowe and his wife Nancy unveil a new marker to commemorate Richard Taylor's legacy. From left are (in red) Bill Clark; (in pink) Raye Brooks; (in green) Randall Franks; (in white) Alva Crowe; (in grey) Nancy Crowe.
- Photo2 by Joseph Brellenthin

Civil War Round Table Meeting April 15

The Chattanooga Civil War Round Table will hold its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.  The meeting is at 7 PM and will be held in the Millis-Evans Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus  of the The McCallie School (enter the campus from Dodds Avenue and follow the signs to the Academic Quadrangle and Caldwell Hall).  Dalton Historian, Author, and ... (click for more)

Remembering Embrey's Drug Store

A reader saw the Memories article on the downtown J.C. Penney’s ( http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/3/7/271262/Remembering-the-Downtown-J.C.-Penney-s.aspx )  and recognized the building as having once been her grandfather’s drug store. The reader recalled, “My mother told me her father C.P. Embrey was a druggist and operated his business in that same building.  She ... (click for more)

City Applies For $27 Million Federal Grant On $52 Million Wilcox Tunnel Project

The city is applying for a $27 million federal TIGER 6 grant for a $52 million complete reworking of the narrow Wilcox Tunnel through Missionary Ridge. The project would leave the current tunnel in place for westbound traffic with a single lane and build a new two-lane tunnel for eastbound traffic. There would be an emergency egress cross passage between the two. Final ... (click for more)

NAACP Recommends Staying Away From Planned Protest By Neo-Nazi Group

The president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP, urged local residents to stay away from a planned rally here by the Nationalist Socialist Movement in August. James R. Mapp said the group seeks to provoke incidents and said counter-protests could lead to problems. Mr. Mapp said, "On April 8th, 2014, reports surfaced throughout the Chattanooga-Hamilton County region that ... (click for more)

State Moving Forward In Educational Improvements

The State Collaborative on Reforming Education released the following statement from President and CEO Jamie Woodson regarding the 2014 legislative session in Tennessee and HB1549/SB1835, which passed the General Assembly Thursday: After a year of extensive public and legislative conversation regarding higher academic standards and related strategies to improve student learning, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Jim Coppinger Excels

Jim Coppinger, who as the mayor of Hamilton County has understandably had to grow some thick skin, wants no part of the repulsive billboards now seen around town that ask, “Do you have gonorrhea?”  His Tuesday morning telephone call revealed he is just as disgusted as the rest of us who see them showing a picture of a forlorn African-American male. “You need to know the Hamilton ... (click for more)