The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, located just off Highway 411 on Highway 360 in Vonore, is the state’s only tribally-owned historical site. It was built to honor the Cherokee Sequoyah, who in 1821 created a Syllabary, or way of reading and writing the Cherokee language.
Throughout the year, the museum hosts various special events. This spring, a free lecture series delves into a variety of Cherokee topics.
From 2-3p.m. on Sunday, March 3, Robert Conley’s topic will be, “175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears.” Distinguished novelist, Robert Conley, a member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, will focus on the Trail of Tears. Conley is Sequoyah Distinguished Professor at Western Carolina University. His poetry, short stories, novels, and nonfiction works have been published in several languages and have received many awards.
On Sunday, March 10 first time author Ronald R. Cooper will do a photo presentation at 2 p.m. and a book signing from 12-5 p.m. Mr. Cooper spent years researching the Trail of Tear, and in the winter of 2011, walked the length of the Northern Route as closely as he could to the original roadbed. He is the first person to do so in Modern times. His book, “It’s My Trail, Too: A Comanche Indian’s Journey on the Cherokee Trail of Tears”, chronicles that trek.
On Sunday, March 17, from 2-3p.m., Tribal Historic Preservation Specialist, Tyler Howe will be lecturing on the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears from the Qualla town’s perspective; the Cherokees who stayed behind and did not go on the Trail of Tears. Howe works for the Tribal Historic Preservation Office in Cherokee.
On Sunday, March 24, from 2-3p.m. Tom Belt’s topic will be the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears. Belt, Western Carolina University’s Cherokee language program coordinator, is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He developed and teaches a Cherokee language program at WCU.
The museum, located on Tellico Lake, features video, electronic displays and exhibits from various periods of Cherokee occupation in the Tennessee Overhill area. Its gift shop offers for sale many Cherokee and Native American crafts and jewelry as well as books on Cherokee history and culture.
These lectures are free and open to the public and are sponsored in part from a grant from the East Tennessee Foundation John D. Grubb and Louise G. Sumner Fund for Monroe County. For more information check our website at www.sequoyahmuseum.org or contact the museum at 423-884-6246.
– Sequoyah Birthplace Museum