In November 1838, 660 Cherokee led by John Adair Bell passed through present-day David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, on their way to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears. A 2.5 mile road segment that was used by the Bell detachment is preserved within the state park and is part of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail, but it remained undeveloped and uninterpreted for years. The National Trails Intermountain Region (NTIR) of the National Park Service partnered with David Crockett State Park and the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation to change this.
In 2013, NTIR received an Active Trails grant from the National Park Service Foundation to develop the abandoned road segment into an interpretive hiking trail. On November 2, 2013, the new Trail of Tears Retracement Hiking Trail opened to the public. I authored the text for the four wayside exhibits installed along the trail.
READ THE WAYSIDE EXHIBITS HERE:
- “Traveling Through Lawrenceburg”
- “Food for Thought”
- “Opposition to Indian Removal”
- “The Journey Continues”
Special thanks to Doris Tate Trevino and Vicky Garland for their research and guidance.
The David Crockett State Park is located at 1400 West Gaines in Lawrenceburg, TN. For more information, visit the park’s website: http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/david-crockett.