The Tennessee Trail of Tears Association will hold a free event in Tellico Plains on Saturday, June 24th at Tellico Plains High School. Exhibits on Trail of Tears topics and other local history will be on display beginning at 1:00 p.m., followed by the meeting at 2:00 p.m. Tellico Plains High School is located at 9180 New Highway 68 and these events are open to the public.
Quentin Bass, a U.S. Forest Service Archeologist with the Cherokee National Forest and keynote speaker, will present information on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and the importance of Fort Armistead.
Debbie Moore, president of the Tennessee Trail of Tears Association stated, “We are so pleased to be holding our meeting in historic Tellico Plains. Our members will enjoy learning about the Cherokees who lived in the area and Fort Armistead’s role in the Cherokee Removal. Tennessee Trail of Tears members and the public are invited to attend the meeting and visit the Charles Hall Museum free of charge.”
Fort Armistead was established in Coker Creek by the U.S. Government to protect the Cherokees from gold seeking intruders. Ironically, in 1838 Fort Armistead became an emigration fort during the forced removal of the Cherokees. Over 3500 Cherokees left Fort Butler in Murphy, North Carolina and traveled on the Unicoi Turnpike to Fort Armistead in Tennessee. The emigrating Cherokees stayed briefly at Fort Armistead before moving on to Fort Cass in present day Charleston, Tennessee.
Following Bass, local historian Laura Spann will discuss her project to map the 1817-1819 Cherokee reservations located in the Hiwassee District, the general area south and east of the Tennessee River, west of the North Carolina border and north of the Hiwassee River, encompassing the counties of McMinn, Meigs, part of Polk and Roane, and Monroe County to the Indian Boundary.
All events are being sponsored by the Tennessee Trail of Tears Association in cooperation with the Charles Hall Museum of Tellico Plains. The Museum, located at 229 Cherohala Skyway, is free and open to the public and has several displays of Native American artifacts including Cherokee and the Mississippian Period. Following the meeting at the high school attendees are encouraged to gather at the museum for a free guided tour of these historical relics. The Museum is hosting a Cherokee finger weaving class taught by Tonya Dockery, on June 24th from 10 a.m. until noon. Preregistration and a small material fee are required for the class. Call 423-253-2111 for more information and to preregister.
Those interested in joining the Tennessee Trail of Tears Association may join at www.nationaltota.com and may follow the activities of the organization on Facebook at TN Trail of Tears Association. Debbie Moore may be contacted at 423 715-2254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.