Key Segment of the Historic Trail of Tears Now Protected

Monday, October 6, 2014

COKER CREEK, Tenn. (Oct. 6, 2014) –Today, the hardships of the Cherokee people were remembered when the U.S. Forest Service and The Conservation Fund completed the final phase of an effort to protect the original route of  the historic Trail of Tears near the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Approximately 222 acres was conveyed to the U.S. Forest Service from The Conservation Fund, providing protection for a significant portion of the National Historic Trail that traverses through the forested property. 

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail was designated by Congress in 2009 and runs along a section of Unicoi Turnpike, one of the oldest traces or trails in North America, having first been used by Native Americans as far back as prehistoric times. Extending from Tennessee to South Carolina, the Turnpike was later used by European explorers and evolved into a popular trade and commerce route. Tragically, the section of the Unicoi Turnpike extending from present-day Hayesville, North Carolina, to Athens, Tennessee, was used as a principal route for the forcible relocation of the Cherokee people to Oklahoma after the enactment of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

Nearly surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest, the relatively untouched forestland creates additional protection of land along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. The trail traverses 4,900 miles over land and water in nine states and traces parts of the original Trail of Tears route, as well as highlights other important locations during the removal.

The Conservation Fund purchased the entire 392-acre property in early 2013 and conveyed 170 acres earlier this year to the Forest Service, which prioritized this project for Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014 funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), America’s premier conservation program. The final transfer and permanent preservation of the remaining 222 acres occurred last week.

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3) have supported Tennessee’s requests for LWCF funding. LWCF is a bipartisan, federal program that uses a percentage of proceeds from offshore oil and gas royalties—not taxpayer dollars—to acquire critical lands and protect our country’s best natural resources for the last 50 years.

“Preserving historic sites such as this allows us to learn firsthand about our heritage and the people, events, and ideas that have shaped us as Americans,” said Senator Alexander. “I’m pleased to see this key segment of the historic Trail of Tears being preserved, which will allow Tennesseans and visitors to learn about America’s history as they enjoy its great outdoors.”

“I’m pleased key segments of the historic Trail of Tears will be protected, and I thank the U.S. Forest Service and The Conservation Fund for their efforts to ensure this important piece of Tennessee history is appropriately recognized,” said Senator Corker.

The newly-protected property will be managed by the Forest Service in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Cherokee and Creek tribes and other state and local agencies and organizations.

Cherokee National Forest Supervisor JaSal Morris said, “This acquisition is a big step toward ensuring that this important site is protected. Protecting the Trail of Tears and other significant sites in this area has been and will continue to be a priority for us. Support for land acquisitions related to these sites has been significant.”

“Natural lands like this connect us to our past, and their preservation gives us the opportunity to walk in the steps of America’s Native ancestors and experience the land much like they did,” said Ralph Knoll of The Conservation Fund. “We’re thankful to Senators Alexander and Corker and Representative Fleischmann for their continued support of LWCF, which is so critical to conservation in Tennessee, and to U.S. Forest Service for being good stewards of this land that gives us a chance to learn about our history and honor those that suffered along the Trail of Tears.”


Researchers Interpret Cherokee Inscriptions In Alabama Cave

African-American Research Group Seeking Help Finding Chattanooga Nurses Who Received Training At Grady

Maury Nicely Speaks At Signal Mountain Genealogical Society May 7


For the first time, a team of scholars and archaeologists has recorded and interpreted Cherokee inscriptions in Manitou Cave, Al. These inscriptions reveal evidence of secluded ceremonial activities ... (click for more)

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History needs help finding the history of the Chattanooga Nurse training at Grady Health System between the dates of 1920-1966. ... (click for more)

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, at the Walden Town Hall, 1836 Taft Hwy. Refreshments will be served followed by a brief business meeting and ... (click for more)


Memories

Researchers Interpret Cherokee Inscriptions In Alabama Cave

For the first time, a team of scholars and archaeologists has recorded and interpreted Cherokee inscriptions in Manitou Cave, Al. These inscriptions reveal evidence of secluded ceremonial activities at a time of crisis for the Cherokee, who were displaced from their ancestral lands and sent westward on the Trail of Tears in the 1830s. “These are the first Cherokee inscriptions ... (click for more)

African-American Research Group Seeking Help Finding Chattanooga Nurses Who Received Training At Grady

The Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History needs help finding the history of the Chattanooga Nurse training at Grady Health System between the dates of 1920-1966. Gloria Strong said, "We are looking for names, dates , pictures biographies etc., to include in the program on The Colored Unit: Stories of the Segregated Grady Memorial Hospital ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Girl, 12, Is Rescued After Suffering Head Injury From Signal Point Fall Off Rock

Several rescue agencies responded on Easter Sunday after a girl suffered a head injury after falling nine feet from a rock. At 5:30 p.m., a 911 call was made reporting a 12-year-old had been injured at Signal Point. The Signal Mountain Fire Department responded to 112 Signal Point Trail and hiked half-way down the trail to find the injured girl. A mutual aid response for additional ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Department Seeks Suspects In Car Break-Ins

The Dalton Police Department is seeking help from the public to identify two men who broke into three vehicles parked at the Planet Fitness gym on Walnut Avenue. There have been several car break-ins in this parking lot over the past year because people using the gym often leave valuables inside of their cars instead of taking them inside. The suspects in these three break-ins ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why Does Walden Need A Large Grocery Store? - And Response (2)

The town of Walden has a population of 2,118 people. What do those citizens need with a 49,000 square foot grocery store? Or with 10,000 square feet of commercial office space? Or a fuel island? Or increased tractor trailer traffic with proportional damage to the road up and down the mountain? Or multiple traffic lights at the “W” Road intersection and at Timesville Road? When ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: This Ain’t Gonna’ Work

When Governor Bill Lee talks about education, or the lack of it, I’ll listen. He’s the guy who, when he found his newly-hired employees were wanting, his thriving Lee Company in Nashville started its own vocational school and paid them to learn. The investment was brilliant and the outcome obvious. But now comes the bigger gamble, vouchers for some and, for others, charter schools ... (click for more)