The Etowah Historical Society is having a grand opening of Alabama’s first Trail of Tears Memorial on Sept. 28 — 175 years ago to the day the Cherokees of Northeast Alabama were forced to Oklahoma.
The Trail of Tears exhibit is at Elliott Community Center at 2829 West Meighan Blvd.(U.S. 431) in Gadsden.
The grand opening is at 10 a.m.
Speakers on the agenda include: Lee Sentrell – State of Alabama Tourism Director; Hugh Stump – Gadsden area Tourism; Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton; Chief Stan Long or Vice Chief Mary Slaton of the Cherokee Tribe of NE Alabama.; Ron Cooper – Comanche Indian from Oklahoma who walked the Trail of Tears; and Robert Thrower – Preservation officer with the Federally recognized Poarch Creek Tribe
The Chamber of Commerce will help out with the ribbon cutting. There will be an Indian exhibit, making Indian pottery, Indian cooking, and dancing. The National Park Service is providing a 22 minutes Trail of Tears video. Also, a special memorial will be set up for the late Gail King who was the President of the Alabama Trail of Tears Association, a state anthropologist as well as an archaeologist.
Gadsden Park & Recreation will sponsor snacks and drinks. State funding and funds from Lowes, Marvins, Gadsden Area Tourism and many individuals helped to make the exhibit possible.