Tag Archives: Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

175 Years Later: Documenting the Historic Buildings of the Trail of Tears

Despite modern development and improvements, the historic landscape of the Trail of Tears remains rich in material culture. From roadbeds to buildings to even a rare bridge abutment, physical reminders of that bygone era still dot the landscape and offer a tangible connection to the past. Sometimes these important resources are difficult to identify from the many changes they have undergone over the years, but if you look hard enough and start peeling back the layers of time, then you will see clues that point to the age of these resources.

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The Homestead: Cherokee Plantation

“Fort Payne is a goldmine of Cherokee heritage, and the Andrew Ross Home lies along one of the Trail of Tears roundup routes,” says Olivia Cox, a board member of the Landmarks of DeKalb County historical organization. The front of the house faces the Cherokee trading route, which can still be seen on parts of the property. The road also was walked by Cherokee who were rounded up by federal troops in 1838 and placed in a removal encampment in Fort Payne, where they waited before being forced west.

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