Submitted by Kristy Maney
FORT LOUDOUN, Tenn.
– On Thursday, Nov. 12, 4-8th grade students of the Cherokee Language and Culture Program at Smokey Mountain Elementary School went on a day long adventure in Tennessee. Students were transported into history with visits to Historic Fort Loudoun State Park and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum.
At Fort Loudoun State Park, students watched an award winning documentary before engaging in a guided tour of the fort and an 18th century medical infirmary. Students walked the grounds of the fort and learned about what life was like before modern medicine. Students also gained a greater understanding of the fort’s active years (1756-1760).
After a picnic lunch, the students visited Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. The mission of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah. The Museum collects, preserves, interprets, and exhibits objects and data that support this mission. Students took a 60 minute guided tour of the museum. They learned more about the personal story of Sequoyah and his family.
7th grade student Tyra Maney says, “We learned more about our heritage and being at such an important site brought history to life.”
While at the Museum, the students took a short walk to Cherokee Over Hill Town. A Museum guide followed our student group to the Historic Cherokee Site Echota. Here students walked the grounds of what once was the capital of the Cherokee Nation.
Student Kyla Chapa adds, “I enjoyed learning more about Sequoyah and the Cherokee syllabary. It was interesting to find out more about the relationship between the Cherokee and others in the area during that time.”