Park History

In December 1987, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating the Trail Of Tears as a National Historical Trail and Hopkinsville KY is named in the bill. In April, 1996 the National Park Service designated the park as a certified site on the National Historic Trail Of Tears. Our park is the first non-federal property to receive such designation.

Statues of Chief Whitepath and Fly Smith were crafted by local artist Steve Shields and were unveiled with delegations from Eastern Band Of Cherokees and Cherokee present. One of the focal points of the Trail Of Tears Commemorative Park is the log cabin which serves as the Heritage Center of the Park.This cabin dates to the Trail Of Tears itself. While in need of reconstruction, the cabin was moved to the park with only its roof removed. A complete restoration was done, a new porch built and the interior fitted with display cases for the cabin's new life as a Heritage Center.There are seven Cherokee clans. Bird, Paint, Deer, Blue, Wolf, Long Hair, Wild Potato. Near the burial area in the Park,The Trail Of Tears Commission has planted seven Red Cherokee Chief Dogwoods in honor of each clan. The name of each clan is set forth in a carved redwood sign by its tree.

Trail of Tears History

Excerpt from WikiPedia:


Trail of Tears Map

The Trail of Tears was the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the present-day United States. It has been described as an act of genocide.

The removal included many members of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, and Choctaw nations among others in the United States, from their homelands to Indian Territory (eastern sections of the present-day state of Oklahoma). The phrase originated from a description of the removal of the Choctaw Nation in 1831. Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while on route to their destinations, and many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee. Read More...

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