ROSWELL, Ga. — The Roswell Historical Society held a Cherokee memorial dedication and festival at Riverside Park July 19 to mark the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Officials from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in North Carolina spoke. Nonprofit organizations, such as the Friends of New Echota and the Trail of Tears Association as well as local Cherokee descendants were also in attendance.
“This is a great addition not just to our parks, but to our history,” said Roswell Mayor Jere Wood at the memorial’s dedication ceremony.
The memorial features eight boulders along a trail near the Chattahoochee River. Plaques on the boulders tell stories of the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears, written by Roswell author Cindi Crane and vetted by the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears Association.
The Trail of Tears occurred in 1838, when the people of the Cherokee Nation were forcibly moved from their homeland in northern Georgia to reservations in Oklahoma. An estimated 4,000 people died on the 1,000-mile journey.
“It gives us an opportunity to honor the resilience of that generation,” said Wayne Poteete, a Supreme Court Justice of the Cherokee Nation. “They went to the west and triumphed over a huge tragedy.”
The Trail of Tears memorial is at Riverside Park, 575 Riverside Road, Roswell.