Celebrating the rich Cherokee heritage of western North Carolina is a primary goal of the Clay County Communities Revitalization Association (CCCRA). To that end, the Quanassee Path: A Cherokee History Trail, highlighting five Cherokee-related sites in Hayesville is being established by this volunteer organization. One of the stops along the 2-mile trail is Moss Memorial Library where a section of the library has become the Cherokee Cultural Center.
The dedication for the Cherokee Cultural Center will be held Friday, March 28 at 10:30am at the Moss Memorial Library, located at 26 Anderson Street in Hayesville. The public is invited to meet Principal Chief Michel Hicks, Cherokee Preservation Foundation Director Annette Clapsaddle, artist Davy Arch and educator Diamond Brown Jr., and enjoy refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library following the dedication.
A Cherokee Preservation Foundation Grant funded the development of the CCC and answered the question of where to display art and books that are used in the educational programs at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit. The CPF grant, with additional support from the Conservation Fund, Moss Memorial Library and CCCRA, has enabled us to purchase additional Cherokee art, books and resources, historical maps, computer, educational displays and representations of Cherokee culture.
An attractive image of a Cherokee hunter will welcome visitors to the Cherokee section of the library. The model for the image is Cherokee educator Diamond Brown, well known for his presentations to Hayesville students and visitors to the Cherokee Heritage Festival held at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit each fall.
A 13-foot Sequoyah display atop the book cases will draw visitors further into the CCC. Sequoyah’s image and historical information about his development of the Cherokee syllabary will provide patrons with little-known facts about Sequoyah and the syllabary. A copy of the Cherokee newspaper, The Phoenix, may be perused.
Representations of Cherokee culture include baskets made of oak and river cane, clan masks, pottery, gourd rattles, flutes, shell shakers, water drum, stickball set, projectile points, and pot shards discovered by Western Carolina University professor Jane Eastman at the Spikebuck Mound/Quanassee Town site in Hayesville. Work by well-known Cherokee artists Davy Arch, Emma Garrett, Sarah Pascual, Joel Queen, Eva Reed, Tsaladi Sequoyah, Amanda Swimmer, Jane Taylor, Stan Tooni Jr., Bessie Welch, and Pearl Wolfe are included in the permanent collection. Beautiful river cane baskets, made by Agnes Welch and one attributed to Nancy and Rowena Bradley are on loan to the CCC.
Books and research material depicting Cherokee culture and history are available to adults and young people in the community. A computer is available to conduct online research or to access electronic Cherokee books and articles. Historical maps line the available wall space, highlighting the abundance of Cherokee settlements in the region prior to removal.
Librarian Mary Fonda says, “While not complete, the Cherokee Cultural Center is drawing lots of interest. It is one of the first things patrons notice when they enter the library.”
The Cherokee Cultural Center will be one stop along the Quanassee Path in downtown Hayesville. The five Cherokee-related sites include the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, Clay County Museum, Cherokee Cultural Center at Moss Memorial Library, Spikebuck Mound/Quanassee Town site, and a .3 mile Spikebuck Connector Trail that leads individuals along Town Creek back to the Homestead Exhibit.
Info: (828) 389-3045 or (828) 389-6531