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After a year of relative inactivity, the North Carolina chapter has approved a set of new bylaws and elected a new slate of officers. Newly elected officers are: President, Anne F. Rogers; Vice-President, Dianne Beaver; Secretary, Jane L. Brown; and Treasurer, Stephen Vicknair. Planned tasks for future meetings are to review the status of the board membership and to work on refining the bylaws to be more comprehensive. The next chapter meeting will be held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina, on Saturday, March 31, 2007.

The meeting will be held in the Bertha Saunooke room from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The museum is located on Highway 441 North in Cherokee. The Georgia chapter has spent the past several months prioritizing sites for certification by the National Park Service, collecting inventories on those sites, obtaining owner agreements, and preparing for the National TOTA conference in Rome this November. A planning meeting was held several weeks ago at Chieftains (the Major Ridge Home) with both local and national TOTA leadership to determine a slate of speakers for the national meeting. Both local and national leadership team members are now contacting the prospective speakers and submitting the information to the national office to determine the final agenda for the sessions.

Recently, a trip was made to the probable site of Fort Buffington near Canton, GA. In attendance were chapter members Linda Baker, Jack Richardson, and Jeff Bishop, along with the property owners. Bishop filed a report that recommended archaeological testing at the site, if the three property owners agree. A decision on this recommendation will likely be made at the March meeting. The owners were also given an NPS brochure on site certification and owner agreements for their review. Aaron Mahr of the National Park Service will make some Georgia site visits in mid-March. He will meet with chapter officers and lead researcher Dr. Sarah Hill, along with Georgia State Archaeologist David Crass, to determine possible certifications of Removal routes. He will also visit the Sixes and Cedartown Removal sites, for which owner agreements have been obtained and research has been completed.

His site visits may be the final step in obtaining certification for these sites. Visits may also be made to several other sites for which the research phase is drawing to a close. Linda Woodward-Geiger has been particularly busy this month in completing inventory forms for sites in Pickens County.

More inventories are expected shortly. Chapter Vice President Jeff Bishop has been completing research on the John Ross House for the NPS through a Challenge Cost-Share grant. Information obtained through this research will be used in the interpretation of this site. Leslie Thomas has been actively involved in attempts to preserve the old county courthouse in Ellijay. Although not a Cherokeerelated structure, it is important to the heritage and history of the town, which was originally a Cherokee town. The residents of the town recently voted against preserving the courthouse.

The latest chapter meeting was held on Saturday, March 10, 2007, in Waleska at the Funk Heritage Center. The meeting began at 10:30 a.m., and adjourned about 12:30 p.m., at which time the Center vunviled its new Trail of Tears exhibit. Maps for the exhibit ere provided by members of the local chapter. Sandwiches were provided for attending.
NPS Trail of Tears
The Georgia chapter has been busy working on its assignment from the national board for the Association’s Strategic Plan and is almost finished. The chapter is working to get a more complete inventory listing as there are so many sites in northern Georgia that could be certified.

The chapter is in its final processes to obtain certification proposals on four sites and signage for fourt sites. Member Jeff Bishop has stepped up to assume this responsibility, and chapter members are happy with his results. He is utilizing Dr. Sarah Hill and National Park Service historian Aaron Mahr for guides and is also working with an archaeologist.

Plans for the proposed 2007 association conference location is moving forward with Rome appearing to be an appropriate site. Association Coordinator Jerra Quinton visited
Rome in July to review the accommodations.

Rome is located in a beautiful valley at the confluence of the Etowah and Oostanaula Rivers to form the Coosa River. Rome’s existence began on December 20, 1834. Ongoing Indian residences and towns were located here at the junction of these rivers with various names then eventually being known as the Head of the Coosa.

The community was the home of the Cherokee Nation leaders John Ross and Major Ridge, who owned ferries and had large plantation homes. Rome offers many interesting and historical sites as well as many other unique characteristics of a small town setting.
APRIL 2006
At the January chapter meeting at New Echota, 40 people attended. Interest continues to grow in the chapter thanks to the efforts of many, including partner organizations.

Richard Thornton has accepted the position of chapter vice president after the untimely passing of Will Rogers. Will lost his life in an automobile accident in late November 2005. It was an honor for the Georgia chapter to have Will as a dear member and leader. He served the chapter not only as vice president but also as an artist, writer, fundraiser and preserver of Cherokee culture and history.

Chapter members have been busy fundraising. Linda Baker and Kathy Cox were successful in acquiring $1000 in grants from Wal-Mart. These funds will help educate the local population about Removal and help fund the preservation of the Trail in Georgia. The chapter has, at Wal-Mart’s request, donated $500 to the Funk Heritage Center for Trail of Tears interpretation.

Other fundraising efforts have included sales of a reprinted book of poems by John Rollins Ridge, a drawing for a print by Donald Vann of TOTA’s logo, and sales of Trail of Tears maps and reports and TOTA logo items.

Several chapter board projects are in the works, including efforts to appoint a member to head up the “Site Certification Process.” The chapter board is also working to develop a plan to acquire two or three sites for certification. The chapter now believes it has the necessary direction to certify some of the collection sites by the year's end. Also, board members will soon have the opportunity to review the Georgia Department of Transportation’s “Federal Road Project Report.” Additionally, chapter president Tommy Cox has been involved in the Chieftain’s Museum’s planning to return the home and landscape to the way it was at the time of Removal.
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