CHEROKEE MEMORIAL PARK
A Dream in Progress
The Cherokee Memorial
Park is a beautiful,
reflective site on top of a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River.
Natural beauty and abundant wildlife make it an inviting place for
people looking for solitude or hoping to see the thousands of
Sandhill Cranes that stop here on their annual migration, glimpse
an eagle, or enjoy the many shore and water birds that live here.
But there is much more
than natural beauty to this place.
It was here that many Cherokee men, women and children encamped
on the arduous trip to Oklahoma that became known as the
Trail of Tears. Because of this, the site has been designated by
the National Park Service as an official Trail of Tears site.
This is also the spot where the Blythe Ferry crossed the Tennessee
River for 189 years, one reason it is listed on the National Register
of Historic Places.
For a number of years
citizens of Meigs County and the
surrounding region have been working to create a park and memorial
to the Cherokee families who left Tennessee during the Trail of Tears.
Work is now underway to build a parking lot and hiking trail. Future
plans include construction of a facility that will house historical
exhibits, a Cherokee genealogy library, a wildlife viewing area, and
spaces for workshops and meetings. However, the centerpiece of the
park will be the memorial to the Cherokee families who left East
Tennessee on the Trail of Tears.
Cherokee Memorial Monument
The monument of polished
granite will be
built to represent the seven-point star from the
Cherokee national seal. Each of the seven panels
will be engraved with the seventy names of heads
households that were recorded in the 1835 Cherokee
census. An eternal flame will burn from the top of
the monument as testament to the men, women, and
children who traveled the Trail of Tears.
Wildlife Viewing Area
The Cherokee Memorial
Park is adjacent
to the second largest staging area for sandhill
cranes in North America. Each year thousands
of people come to see the cranes and attend
educational workshops to learn about the natural
and cultural history of this place. For this
reason, a wildlife observation area will be part
of the interpretive center that is planned
for the park. The design of the observation area
will allow visitors to enjoy a breathtaking,
360 degree view of the river, surrounding countryside
The two-story, 13,000
square feet center
will be designed for multiple uses. Historical
exhibits on the ground floor will focus on
Cherokee history, with a special emphasis placed
on the lives of the Cherokee whol were impacted
by the Trail of Tears. There will be spaces for
meetings, seminars and a linrary to house
Cherokee genealogical information. The second
floor will be designed as a wildlife observation area.
If you would like to
make a tax deductible donation
to the Cherokee Memorial Park, please mail and make checks
Friends of the Cherokee Memorial
P.O. Box 611
Decatur, TN 37322
Meigs County Executive's Office
P.O. Box 156
Decatur, TN. 37322
You may also print out
form below by right clicking on the image,
copy and paste into the program of your choice.
E-mail this page to a friend
Made for the Cherokee Memorial Park
by Sharon K. Wallace as a means to help
generate interest and donations.