Grace Baptist Academy Students Help Clean Up Brainerd Mission Cemetery

Friday, May 23, 2014

Grace Baptist Academy students volunteered their time to clean up the Brainerd Mission Cemetery. The groups, comprised of sixth through eighth graders, were led by teacher Joanna Shumaker to help preserve the historic one acre site.   

Michelle Scotchie, member of Judge David Campbell Chapter NSDAR, volunteered with the group and Maria Matthews, member of Chickamauga Chapter NSDAR and chair of the Brainerd Mission Cemetery Board, provided all the necessary materials for the clean-up day.  

The students mulched, raked leaves, disposed of branches, and transplanted flowers for several hours.  

The Brainerd Mission Cemetery site is the only evidence that the Brainerd Mission was in existence.  The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated as a site on the Trail of Tears.  Established in 1817, the Mission was created to educate and Christianize the Native Americans.  Missionaries taught domestic arts and agriculture in addition to religion. The mission grounds featured dormitories for boys and girls, school, church, gristmill, sawmill, barn, farm fields, and the cemetery.  In 1838, the Cherokees along with the missionaries who sympathized with them began their long journey to the West on the Trail of Tears.  In August of 1838, the Brainerd Mission held its last church service, and the mission was closed.   

In 1933, the Brainerd Mission Cemetery property was deeded to the local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution.   Each year at the cemetery, a Flag Raising Ceremony is held on the second Wednesday in June conducted by the local DAR and SAR chapters.  The public is welcome to attend the upcoming event on June 11 at 2:30 p.m.  

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