The Ocoee Region: Once the Gateway to the Cherokee Nation.
Travel back in time by exploring historic sites in the quaint southern towns of Charleston, Calhoun and Cleveland, Tennessee. The south side of the Hiwassee River, present-day Charleston, was once the location of the federal Cherokee Indian Agency (1820-1833), which provided protection for the Cherokee people. In prior years, this agency had been responsible for issuing passports for visitors to enter the Cherokee Nation. This brochure explores many of the significant Cherokee historical sites in Bradley County, such as the last eastern homeplace of Chief John Ross, the original home of his brother Lewis Ross, the non-extant location of Fort Cass and Rattlesnake Springs which were the infamous holding camps for the Cherokee during the first stage of the Trail of Tears.This brochure is available to download here or you can click here to order your Passport.
Nancy Ward Grave
At the age of 17, Nancy Ward earned the name of Ghighau or “Beloved Woman” for her valor on the battlefield after her husband, a Cherokee warrior, died in battle and she valiantly took his place, rallying her fellow fighters to victory. This act of bravery catapulted Nancy into many positions of power in the Cherokee governing systems, among them, the Women’s Council and the Council of Chiefs. Her high standing among her people, her remarriage in the 1750s to English trader Bryant Ward, and her desire for peaceful coexistence made Nancy a trusted liaison to the newly arriving white settlers. Nancy would use her considerable influence in the Cherokee Nation innumerable times to negotiate peace treaties between both the English colonists and later, the emerging United States government and her native people. She is buried beside the graves of her son Five Killer and brother Long Fellow. In 1923, the Nancy Ward Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument on her grave. Newsweek.com named Nancy Ward 1st on a timeline of women Political Pioneers.
The Cherokee Chieftain, carved from a tree along Parker Street by widely-acclaimed sculptor Peter Wolf Toth, was presented to the city of Cleveland, Tennessee as a gift in 1974. The Chieftain is one of the focal points of downtown Cleveland and stands as a proud reminder of the region's significant Cherokee Indian heritage. The Chieftain may be seen on the grounds of the Museum Center at 5ive Points on Inman Street.
Hair Conrad Cabin at Blythewood Farms
We Shall Remain
For an interesting look at history from the Native American's perspective, be sure to check out WE SHALL REMAIN, a documentary that is available through the PBS network. The series may be viewed online and we in Bradley County are extremely excited about this film, since scenes for the Trail of Tears segment were filmed at Red Clay State Historic Park.