Supporting The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
Supporting The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Trail Maps & Databases
The Story




Trail segment along the Northern Route at Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwestern Arkansas. The wayside exhibits overlooking the Arkansas River at Fort Smith National Historic Site, located on the Water Route in western Arkansas, depict in 5 individual panels the removal stories of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Nations. The award-winning Trail of Tears exhibit at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, OK, includes a tactile "bead wall," with each bead representing one removed Cherokee, totaling 16,000 beads. Also, life-cast figures depict the travel along the Trail of Tears.

TOTA, a citizens' organization of national and international members, has state chapters in the nine states through which the Trail traverses. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. State chapters address the more specific issues in each state, such as membership development, chapter organization and other efforts that assist the Association and the National Park service in achieving their goals and objectives.

Each chapter has its own board of directors, including officers. This body organizes the chapter for meetings, research, and activities. For more information on what the chapters are doing, please contact the following:



ALABAMA CHAPTER
Chapter contact:
Gail Tate King
15019 Highway 55
Sterrett, Alabama 35147
205-672-2074 (home)
gail-king@att.net


Current or upcoming chapter activities:

  • Chapter Involvement in development of Tuscumbia Landing Interpretive Center.
  • Completion of archaeological excavation of military headquarters site at Fort Payne, AL.
  • Sharon Freeman, board member, heading Fort Payne archaeological survey, artifact analysis, and writing NHRP and NHT nomination.
  • Larry Smith to work on Gunter’s Landing nomination to NHRP and NHT.
  • Use of 1840 surveys to locate Cherokee Removal roads on topo maps.
  • Field surveys to physically locate 1830 roads used for Cherokee Removal.
  • Ongoing research on Benge Detachment route through Alabama.
  • Research on Tuscumbia, Courtland, & Decatur Railroad for compiling National Park Service report.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Gail King
Vice President Robert Thrower
Secretary Sharon Freeman
Treasurer Larry Smith
Member Mike Wren
Member Lamar Marshall
Member Ellen Mussleman

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ARKANSAS CHAPTER  
Chapter contact:  
Pat Proctor
1728 Lilac Circle
Little Rock, AR 72202  
Phone: 501-324-9232  
patp@arkansasheritage.org
Chapter web site address: http://ualr.edu/sequoyahcenter/trail-of-tears.html


Current or upcoming chapter activities:

  • Improve communication and coordination among trail partners within Arkansas, through chapter newsletter and research exchange.
  • Continue to assist the Indian Removal Through Arkansas project at the Sequoyah Research Center of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
  • Encourage local research and interpretation of all routes.
  • Work to expand membership.
  • Individual members continue with their own research.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President John McLarty
Vice President/TOTA Delegate Glenn Jones
Secretary/Program Coordinator Susan Young
Treasurer Mary Russell Evans
Immediate Past President Pat Proctor
Project Coordinator Carolyn Kent
TOTA Delegate Kitty Sloan

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GEORGIA CHAPTER
Chapter contact:
Jeff Bishop
2 Camphor Drive
Newnan, GA 30265
Phone: 404-788-3265
jbishop@newnan.com
Chapter web site address:   www.gatrailoftears.org

Current chapter research or projects:

  • Research projects focus on identification of removal forts and sites in GA and the routes used during Removal. The chapter has marked one fort site, Fort Newnan. The chapter is currently working with the National Park Service and the City of Cedartwon to place wayside exhibits at the Cedartown Camp and hospital site. An online database, called "TOTAbase," has been established to facilitate the cooperative nature of the research process and to better integrate historic trail resource preservation efforts.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Jeff Bishop
Vice President/Publicity Chair/Publications Leslie Thomas
Secretary Linda Baker
Treasurer Linda Geiger
Membership Chair Marvin Sowder
Research Chair Doug Mabry
Fundraising Chair Peggy Stanfield
Immediate Past President/National Director Tommy Cox
National Director Dola Davis
Outreach Chair J. B. Tate
Grantwriting Chair Myra Reidy
Preservation Chair Cailey Chase-Fowler

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ILLINOIS CHAPTER
Chapter contacts:
Trail of Tears Association
P.O. Box 631
Collinsville, IL 62234
    
Cheryl Jett
Phone: 618-567-6895
cheryl.jett@hotmail.com

Current chapter activities:

  • Working with Illinois Department of Transportation to improve interpretive signage and design displays/waysides along the Auto Trail Route (mainly IL Rt.146). The National Park Service is in the process of making 18 signs to be placed on the Trail in Pope County.
  • Building cooperation between >among the chapter through a chapter newsletter exchange
  • Visiting landowners with certifiable sites along the Trail and putting them in touch with National Park Service
  • Supporting certification of authentic sites and collecting GPS coordinates along the original route for the National Park Service to more accurately mark the Trail
  • Supporting enactment of an Illinois state trail that follows the Cherokee Removal route through southern Illinois
  • On-going oral history project of videotaping people telling stories of family lore or history of the Trail of Tears as it pertained to Illinois.
  • The Monument Committee is working to raise funds to erect a monument, or statue, to be placed in the Court House lawn in Golconda to honor the Cherokees as they passed through here.
  • A "Maping of Southern Illinois" exhibit featuring maps and information on the Trail of Tears was hosted by the University Museum at Southern Illinois University from September through December 2007. The display showed a pictorial history of the TOT through Southern Illinois. The exhibit was assembled by Harvey Henson and Karen Frailey with assistance and information provided by Illinois chapter board members.
  • A new map of the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois based on research and GPS coordinates of actual remnants of the Trail of Tears is being created by board members, Joe Crabb for Pope County, Gary Hacker for Johnson County, and Sandy Boaz for Union County, who have painstakingly researched the actual trail Cherokee emigrants used to pass through Illinois. Harvey Henson is working with these fellow board members and historians to create a digital map of the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois.
  • Detailed geophysical (remote sensing) mapping of the Camp Ground Cemetery by Harvey Henson is nearly complete and a draft of the final report is expected fall 2008. Unmarked graves have been located that may date back to the TOT episode.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Sandra Boaz
Vice Pres. Joe Crabb
Sec/Treas. Cheryl Jett
Member Sue Glasco
Member Rowena McClinton
Member Gary Hacker
Member Harvey Henson

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KENTUCKY CHAPTER  
Chapter contacts:  
Beverly Baker Alice Murphree
199 Linton Bay Drive 2380 Edward Mill Road
Cadiz, KY 42211 Hopkinsville, KY 42240
btbaker@cadizky.com

Current chapter activities:

  • The Kentucky chapter was established in July 2004 and continues its efforts to gain new members. Meetings are held at various locations within western Kentucky. Members are actively engaged in research to identify sites for possible certification along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Once such site was submitted to the National Park Service in the fall of 2006. Certification is currently pending. Members also work to identify sites for possible site interpretation.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Beverly Baker
Vice Pres. Carla Hildebrand
Sec/Treas. Tammy Winters
Member Shelly Morris
Member Mary Ann Read
Member Ann Day
Member Alice Murphree

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MISSOURI CHAPTER
Chapter contacts:  
Trail of Tears State Park/td>
429 Moccasin Spring
Jackson, MO 63755
573-290-5268
573-290-5276 fax
denise.dowling@dnr.mo.gov
   
Deloris Gray Wood
Dent County Historical Society
RR 5 Box 1345
Salem, MO 65560
Phone: 573-729-2545
lostgeneration@embarqmail.com
   

Current chapter activities:

  • Work on more possible sites for certification.
  • The Missouri chapter is still out on the trail finding trail segments and sites. The chapter is working with the National Park Service National Trails System Office to do site evaluations at sites like the Star City Ranch, Snelson-Brinker Cabin and Massie Iron Works at Maramec Spring Park, and the Hildebrand crossing at US Hwy 63 at Licking.
  • The chapter is working with the NPS and the Missouri Department of Transportation preservation officer on the Benge Route in Southeast Missouri.
  • The chapter is pleased to have another state agency, the Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks, join in the chapter's efforts to help develop the Trail in Missouri
  • Assist NPS National Trails System - Santa Fe office with the Benge Route.
  • Continue to research and locate encampment sites and trail segments along the Benge, Hildebrand and Northern Routes and Missouri's more than 600 miles of trail.
  • Work on signage for the Waynesville/Roubidoux Spring, Maramec Spring Park/Massey Ironworks and Snelson-Brinker route, direction, and interpretative signs.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Deloris Gray Wood
Vice President Sheryl Hubbs
Secretary Denise Dowling
Treasurer Brick Autry
Member Darrell Latch
Member Ilene Shepard Smiddy
Member Michael Crawford
Member Harold Bray

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NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER
Chapter contact:
Anne Rogers
P.O. Box 1311
Cullowhee, NC 28723
Phone: 828-227-2443
rogers@email.wcu.edu

Current chapter research and projects:
In early 2005, the North Carolina Chapter contracted with a graphic designer to design the eighteen wayside signs that will provide information about significant sites associated with the Trail of Tears in western North Carolina.

Inventory and Assessment

Brett Riggs is completing the draft of The Inventory and Evaluation of Trail of Tears Associated Sites in Southwestern North Carolina and is working to complete the multi-property nomination of sites to the National Register of Historic Places.

Interpretation

  • Development of interpretive exhibit on Cherokee lifeways in North Carolina at the time of removal for the Cherokee County Historical Museum.
  • Development of 18 wayside exhibit panels for Trail of Tears related sites in Swain, Jackson, Macon, Cherokee, Clay, and Graham counties

Preservation

  • Digital imaging and archiving of the Cherokee accounts ledgerbook (1836-1838) from Hunter's Store. This ledger details store purchases and payments by hundreds of Cherokees (as well as Fort Butler staff) over the 20 months prior to removal.
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Anne Rogers
Vice President Diane Wells
Secretary Jane Brown
Treasurer Stephen Vicknair
Member James Bird
Member Martha Palmer
Member Wanda Stalcup
Member Grace Hawkins
Member David Moore
Member Mary Ann Thompson

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OKLAHOMA CHAPTER  
Chapter contacts:  
Curtis L. Rohr Betty Barker
24880 S. 4106 Rd Rt. 6, Box 1070
Claremore, OK 74019 Stilwell, OK 74960
clrfnr58@att.net bstarrbarker@alltel.net

Current chapter projects:

  • Publication of the "1835 Cherokee Census"
  • On going research and grave marking of survivors of the Trail of Tears.

Chapter Board of Directors:
President Curtis Rohr
Vice President Marybelle Chase
Secretary/Treasurer Betty Barker
Member Mary Adair
Member Joyce Bear
Member Roy Hamilton
Member Gene Norris
Member Carol Richmond
Member Jerri Wood
Immediate Past President Ed Henshaw

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TENNESSEE CHAPTER
Chapter contact:
Bill Jones
330 Baker Mountain Road
Spencer, TN 38585
Phone: 931-946-7486
billj3370@blomand.net
Chapter web site address:   www.TNTOTA.net

Current chapter activities:

  • Research continues on the Bell and Benge routes through Tennessee, the James Brown home, and the Chattanooga area. More information can be found on the TN chapter website.
  • Chapter meeting: August 17, 2008, 11: 00 am Eastern Time, Blyth's Ferry located just off Hwy. 60 at the Tennessee River in Meigs County.
  • Chapter meeting: November 1, 2008, 11:00 am Central Time, Lawrenceburg located on Hwy. 64 in Lawrence County
Chapter Board of Directors:
President Bill Jones
Vice President Floyd Ayers
Treasurer Agnes Jones
Member Ollie Speakman
Member Vicky Garland
Member Cleta Townsend

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1100 North University, Suite 143
Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: (501) 666-9032
Fax: (501) 666-5875
E-mail: TOTA@arindianctr.org


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