Red Clay State Park 40th Anniversary celebration is Oct. 5

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/25/2019 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Red Clay State Historic Park near Cleveland, Tennessee, will host a 40th anniversary celebration on Oct. 5. The site was the last seat of the Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement by the U.S. military of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Red Clay State Historic Park will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 5 with events including living history demonstrations and a park tour.

The day’s schedule, running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes a presentation by Danielle Shelton, a doctorate candidate at Middle Tennessee State University and a graduate assistant at MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation. Former Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, who headed the Red Clay Association that helped Red Clay become a state park, will also speak. The festivities will also include an anniversary cake.

“We have a rich history at Red Clay, including the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears,” said Erin Medley, park manager. “We want to celebrate 40 years of the park, and we want to enlighten everyone who is interested in the history of this area. We look forward to a fun, informative day.”

Red Clay State Historic Park near Cleveland encompasses 263 acres of narrow valleys formerly used as cotton and pasture land. The site was the last seat of the Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement by the U.S. military of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The enforcement resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to move west. Eleven general councils were held from 1832-1838. Red Clay is where the Trail of Tears began. It was at the Red Clay Council Grounds that the Cherokee learned they had lost their mountains, streams and valleys.

The park is also home to Blue Hole Spring, a natural landmark, which rises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek, a tributary of the Conasauga and Coosa river systems. Cherokee people used the spring for their water supply during council meetings.

At Red Clay, the James F. Corn Interpretive Facility contains exhibits on the 19th Century Cherokee, the Trail of Tears, Cherokee art, a video theater, gift shop and a small library.

For more information, visit https://tnstateparks.com/parks/red-clay.

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