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Friday, January 30, 2015

Blythe Ferry Cherokee Removal Memorial

Blythe Ferry Cherokee Removal Memorial

Blythe Ferry Cherokee Removal Memorial

Blythe Ferry was a ferry across the Tennessee River in Meigs County, TN. In 1838, the ferry served as a gathering point and crossing for the Trail of Tears. While the ferry no longer exists, the ferry site is now part of the Cherokee Removal Memorial Park, which was dedicated in 2005.

The Blythe Ferry site is situated along the eastern bank of the Tennessee River, just south of the mouth of the Hiwassee River. The site is located near a point where Meigs County, Rhea County, and Hamilton County meet. Highway TN60, which formerly crossed the river at the ferry, connects the area to Cleveland to the east, Dayton to the west, and Decatur to the north.

At the memorial site is a log cabin which houses the museum and serves as the visitors center. The Cherokee Removal Memorial is seven panels (one for each Cherokee clan) listing the names of each of the 2,537 heads of household forced to relocate. A short walk or drive from the plaza is an observation deck from a bluff overlooking the Ferry site.

for more info: www.cherokeeremoval.org/index.htm

Here is the Blyhte Ferry history on Wikipedia:
Blythe Ferry was established by William Blythe and his Cherokee wife, Nancy Fields, around 1809. The ferry was an important river crossing on the "Great Road" between Chattanooga and Knoxville. Blythe sold the ferry in 1825, and the Blythe family would make the trek west with the Cherokee in the 1830s. In 1836, the Treaty of New Echota was ratified, transferring all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi River to the United States. The treaty called for a general relocation of the Cherokee Nation to the Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). In 1838, President Martin Van Buren ordered General Winfield Scott to round up all Cherokees who had not voluntarily made the trek to Oklahoma and commence a forced removal. By the Fall of the that year, some 9000 Cherokee and 300 Creek had been imprisoned in stockades in Bradley County, a few miles to the east. It took several weeks to move the entire contingent across the river, with the last detachment crossing on November 12, 1838. Blythe Ferry operated until the mid-1990s, when a bridge was built spanning the river immediately downstream. The ferry site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

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