Welcome to www.n-georgia.com Discover Georgia's National Park Service Trail of Tears Historic Sites - Come on a journey to remember and commemorate the survival of the Cherokee people despite their forced removal from their homelands in the Southeastern United States in the 1840s.
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Trail of Tears Georgia Historic Sites and Interpretive Facilities
Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home, Rome Georgia
Historical Significance: The Chieftains tells the story of Major Ridge, the influential Ridge family including prominent son John Ridge, Cherokee history, and the Trail of Tears, as well as subsequent history of the home and region. Eventually, Major Ridge along with a minority of others that later came to be known as the “Treaty Party,” began to advocate removal as the only option to preserve the Cherokee people and were leaders in the signing in 1835 of the Treaty of New Echota that resulted in Cherokee removal.

Available Facilities: The museum property (almost six acres) includes the Major Ridge Home and grounds, recently excavated archeological foundations of outbuildings, wooded areas and shoreline of the Oostanaula River, and a ferry site. The Gaynelle Parrish Grizzard Center for Cherokee Studies, in an adapted historic structure onsite, is used for classes, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations related to the interpretation and understanding of Cherokee history and culture. The museum has a gift shop and accessible restrooms. The site is operated by Chieftains Museum, Inc.

Exhibits: The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits about the Ridge Family, Trail of Tears, and Cherokee culture. The exhibits also feature artifacts from archeological digs onsite.
Special Programs: The museum serves as a cultural center, and offers local artists and annual and special events.

Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Phone: 706-291-9494 - Location: The Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home is at 501 Riverside Parkway N.E., between the Georgia 53 spur and U.S. 27, in Rome, Floyd County.
Chief Vann House State Historic Site, Chatsworth Georgia
Historical Significance: The Chief Vann House Historic Site is a 23-acre park containing a two-story brick mansion built in 1804 by James Vann, a member of the Cherokee elite. After his death in 1809, ownership passed to his eldest son Joseph, who continued to live there until February 1835, when he and his family were forcibly removed.
Historic Road from Ross to Ridge’s, near Rome Georgia
Historical Significance: By the 1820s, both Major Ridge and John Ross, his protégé, had become wealthy Cherokee landowners and ferry operators, and both were influential voices in Cherokee affairs. As a result, the short road between the leaders’ farms was a key linkage in the decision making processes that preceded the Treaty of New Echota and the Cherokees’ subsequent removal to Indian Territory in 1838-39.

Exhibits: Rrelated exhibits at the nearby Chieftain’s Museum/Major Ridge Home.

Hours: not restricted.

Location: This 3-mile-long road right-of-way runs from Major Ridge’s farm (just east of the Oostanaula River) south along the river’s eastern edge to John Ross’s farm at the “Head of Coosa,” just below where the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers joined to form the Coosa River.

Both of these farms are now within the city of Rome. Ross’s farm, which was not far north of present-day Riverview Park near the north bank of the Coosa, was reached via Ross’s swing-style ferry across the Oostanaula. The northern portion of this historic road—specifically, those portions that are on the present-day Chieftain’s Museum Property and in the city’s Ridge Ferry Park—can still be located and traversed. The remainder has been subsumed within Rome’s urban development.
John Ross House, Rossville Georgia
Historical Significance: This home, adjacent to Poplar Spring along a Cherokee trading route, was built in the 1790s by John McDonald, a Scottish trader. In 1808, 18-year-old John Ross began living in the house as well. Within the next decade the town surrounding the spring became known as Rossville, and he had founded the town of Ross’s Landing, now known as Chattanooga. Ross sold the house in 1827 and moved to Head of Coosa (now Rome), where he owned a ferry. Beginning in 1828, he served as the principal chief of the Cherokee. For the next ten years, he fought hard against Indian removal, but in 1838 he and other Cherokee were forced to move west.

Facilities: The house and grounds include interpretive information about Ross, his home, and the Indian removal era.

Hours: June to September, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Hours vary; call before visiting.

Phone: 706-375-7702 - Location: at Andrews St. and E. Lake Ave., just south of U.S. Highway 27, in Rossville, Walker County
New Echota State Historic Site, Calhoun Georgia
Historical Significance: In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital here, where there existed the first Indian language newspaper office, a court case which carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, the signing of a treaty which relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River, and the assembly of Indians for removal to present-day Oklahoma.
Available Facilities: Several original and reconstructed buildings are seen here, including the council house, court house, print shop, missionary Samuel Worcester’s home, and an 1805 store, along with smoke houses, corn cribs, and barns.

Exhibits: In the site’s visitor center, guests can view interpretive exhibits and a 17-minute film.

Hours: Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun., 2-5:30 p.m.

Phone: 706-624-1321 - Location: 1211 Chatsworth Highway NE, Calhoun, Gordon County.
Directions: From Interstate 75 (Bert Lance Highway) at the north edge of Calhoun, go to Exit 317 (State Highway 225 or Chatsworth Highway) and drive east for one mile to the site, which is on the right (south) side of the highway.
Fees & Reservations
There are no user or entry fees for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. However, nominal fees may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities.
Contact Us
National Trails System - Santa Fe
Phone: 505-988-6888 - Fax: 505-986-5214
Address: Old Santa Fe Trail Building, 1100 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Interesting Trail of Tears Facts
Not all Cherokee people were removed from their homelands to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) on the Trail of Tears. The Oconaluftee Cherokees had treaty rights, and they, along with fugitives fleeing the army, became the Eastern Band of Cherokees, still residing in N. C.
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail is approximately 2,200 miles long, over land and water routes in nine states.
In 1838 U.S. Army troops under General Winfield Scott's command rounded up Cherokee people and moved them to forts in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, prior to their removal west. 31 forts were built for this purpose on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
Three detachments of Cherokee people were removed from their homelands to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) along water routes, while 11 detachments made their way overland along existing roads. These routes are part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
In 1838 U.S. Army troops under General Winfield Scott's command rounded up Cherokee people and moved them to forts in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, prior to their removal west. 31 forts were built for this purpose on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
After their removal to Indian Territory (OK) in the late 1830s, Cherokee people established tribal government headquarters in Tahlequah, developed a constitution, and maintained a bilingual school system. Their experiencess are commemorated on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
NPS Trail of Tears

Trail of Tears Info:
BulletTrail of Tears Site
BulletTrail of Tears History
BulletTrail of Tears Locations
Bullet2006-07 Newsletters
Bullet2003-05 Newsletters

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