Have you ever heard of the “Trail of Tears”?
Sadly, New Echota, in Calhoun, GA, is where it began. Now, this is one of the most significant Cherokee Indian sites anywhere.
In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was where the first Indian language newspaper was established.
History records that this spot was also:
one of the earliest experiments in national self government by an Indian tribe.
where the treaty was signed which relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River.
where Cherokees were assembled for removal to the West on the infamous Trail of Tears.
Visitors can tour a dozen original and reconstructed buildings, including the Council House, Court House, Print Shop, Missionary Samuel Worcester’s home, smoke houses, corn cribs, and a store from 1805.
When you visit, plan on spending some time in the visitor center. Experts have assembled fascinating interpretive exhibits and an insightful 17-minute film which will give you an unforgettable display of this site’s enormous value to us all. Other memorabilia, including books and music, are available.
A one-mile nature trail treats walkers to the Worcester House and New Town Creek, a small beaver pond.
New Echota is only open Thursday through Saturday, from 9 AM until 5 PM.
New Echota is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Admission: $4.50-6.50 per person. Group rates available with advance notice.
Address: New Echota Historic Site, 1211 Chatsworth Hwy NE, Calhoun, GA 30701
GPS Coordinates: N 34.540433 / W 084.910033
Directions: Take I-75 to Exit 317 in Calhoun, GA. Go one mile east on Ga. Hwy. 225. You can’t miss it!
(OK. Maybe *you* could miss it — but you won’t. Don’t worry.)