Designated by Congress in 1987, the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail consists of thousands of miles of land and water routes across Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Since the Trail’s designation, a systematic survey of its extant buildings and structures had not been undertaken. Recognizing a need for this, the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University, in partnership with the National Trails Intermountain Region of the National Park Service, is conducting a comprehensive survey to identify and assess the Trail’s extant historic buildings and structures. I am serving as the primary lead on the survey, in which I am responsible for coordinating and conducting fieldwork, completing state survey forms and condition assessments for selected properties, conducting research, and maintaining communication with all interested organizations and individuals. The final report is due in early 2015 and will serve as a planning tool for future preservation and interpretation initiatives for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. For more information about the historic building survey, click here.