Published On: Sun, Apr 4th, 2021

COMMENTARY: As you travel, make time to visit Cherokee sites 

 

By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.

One Feather Staff 

 

As you travel on spring or summer trips, try to make a little time for side trips to some of the numerous Cherokee historical sites around the southeastern United States.  The historical dominion of the Cherokee Nation included land in multiple states, and historical sites can be found and enjoyed throughout.  

At an event honoring the deed transfer of the Nikwasi Mound in 2019, Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed stated, “After the Removal, mounds like Nikwasi remained as a memorial to a once vibrant culture that flourished not only here but across the southern states that Cherokees called home.” 

He added, “I think equally as important we commit to protecting and preserving every historic and sacred site that was so important to our ancestors.  This is our duty.  This is our obligation.  We must honor their lives.” 

Learning about history is important so that it is not forgotten.  Experiencing history, in my opinion, by visiting these various sites is so important because you can not only learn about the history, but you can stand there and immerse yourself.  

Tom Belt, a Cherokee Nation citizen and fluent speaker of the Cherokee language, spoke of the importance of the Kituwah Mound during an event there in 2012.  “This is where we all began as Kituwah people.  We cannot know who we are if we do not know where we’re from.  This is our legacy, and this has been kept from us for a long time.” 

  So, take a little time during your travels to learn of this legacy.  Here are just a few of the many sites that are a relatively short distance from Cherokee.  

* Kituwah Mound 

– Mother Town of the Cherokee 

– located on U.S. 19 between Cherokee and Bryson City 

– free of charge 

* Nikwasi Mound 

– also known as Noquisi, the site is over 1,000 years old and is the location of an historic Cherokee town  

– located at 524 E. Main Street in Franklin 

– free of charge 

* Sequoyah Birthplace Museum 

– Museum dedicated to Sequoyah who invented the Cherokee syllabary in 1821

– located at 576 TN-360 in Vonore, Tenn. 

– Admission: Adults $5, Children under 12 are free, admission is free for members of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes

– open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

– (423) 884-6246, seqmus@tds.net, or visit: www.sequoyahmuseum.org 

* Red Clay State Historic Park 

– last site of Cherokee national government prior to the Removal and is the site of several historic Cherokee meetings 

– located at 1140 Red Clay Park Rd. SW in Cleveland, Tenn. 

– free of charge 

– (423) 478-0339, visit: http://tnstateparks.com/parks/red-clay

– call for hours of operation

* New Echota Historic Site 

– capital of the Cherokee Nation established there in 1825 

– located at 1211 GA225 in Calhoun, Ga. 

– Admission: Adults (18-61) $7, Seniors (62+) $6.50, Youth (6-17) $5.50 

– hours of operation: Tuesday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

– visit: https://gastateparks.org/NewEchota 

 

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