Three Western Carolina faculty members have assisted in the creation and completion of a project to showcase interpretive sites related to the history of the Cherokee Trail of Tears in six far western counties of North Carolina.
The project of the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association benefited from the expertise and efforts of Brett Riggs, Sequoyah Distinguished Professor in Cherokee Studies; Sue Abram, visiting faculty member in the History Department and president of the chapter; and Andrew Denson, associate professor of history and Cherokee Studies.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership provided grant funding for the creation of a website, nctrailoftears.org, and a printed guide/map. Both media publications describe the 16 wayside exhibits erected by the chapter in recent years to interpret the history of Cherokee removal in the 1830s at significant sites. These include military posts, roads used for the movement of troops and Cherokee deportees, and sites of Cherokee organization and resistance against forced removal.
The guide was designed by National Park Service personnel working at the NPS long distance trails office in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It corresponds to similar guides prepared for Georgia and Tennessee.