Bart Smith Photography

​Walking Down a Dream

Trail of Tears (Cherokee Route)

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    Powerful lightening storm near Mt Harmony TN.
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    Zoom effects on Forest along Walden Ridge, TN.
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    Tornado damage along Walden Ridge, TN.
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    A gentleman standing where his house stood before a tornado moved it ten feet, destroying it. The dog was carried away but showed up 8 days later. His wife's shoes were sucked off her feet. They all miraculously survived and he says he is nothing but grateful. Very inspirational, along Walden Ridge TN.
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    Goobers Super Service along Cumberland Plateau, TN.
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    Abandoned single wide trailer along Walden Ridge, TN.
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    Strident private property sign along the way.
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    Sumac in Autumn reds along the Trail of Tears southeast of McMinnville, Cumberland Plateau, TN.
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    Autumn color along the Trail of Tears southeast of McMinnville, Cumberland Plateau, TN.
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    Someones trash dumped on the road side along the Trail of Tears southeast of McMinnville, Cumberland Plateau, TN.
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    Myself at an old wharehouse near Centertown along my 2011 Trail of Tears journey. TN.
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    This kind gentleman came out of his house to pray for my safe travels. West of McMinnville, TN.
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    Cannon County Courthouse reflected a bumper of a 57 Chevy, Woodbury TN.
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    Up on Cripple Creek Road. Long live the memory of Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel. And of course long live Garth and Robbie.
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    Murfreesboro Courthouse, Downtown Murfreesboro, TN.
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    Helium Balloon beside heavily trafficked Old Nashville HW between Smyrna and Nashville, TN.
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    I kinda wanted to stay at Drake but it was too early in the day. Nashville
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    Trumpeting the Worker
    Man cleaning fountain downtown Nashville.
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    The Town that Chet Built
    Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville, TN. One of my many favorite albums is Neck and Neck by Chet Atkins and Mark knopfler.
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    Old Tobacco Barn, TN.
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    Advertisement on abandoned building in Guthrie KY.
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    Memorial to the Cherokee Trail of Tears beside the gravesite of Chief White Path and Chief Fly Smith who perished at this location on the outskirts of Hopkinsville Kentucky.
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    Offerings decorate memorial to the Cherokee Trail of Tears beside the gravesite of Chief White Path and Chief Fly Smith who perished at this location on the outskirts of Hopkinsville Kentucky.
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    Tobacco leaves drying in barn west of Hopkinsville KY.
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    Rural Kentucky scene west of Hopkinsville. A kind hearted fellow allowed me to photograph his property.
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    Ted, the proprietor of Feagan's Furniture and the local historian of Fredonia, KY. (And a real nice guy).
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    The site of Centerville, a town which has vanished, near Fredonia KY.
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    Road sign designating the location of Centerville, a town which no longer exists. Near Fredonia Ky.
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    Golconda Illinois. (The Cherokee crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky into Golconda Il).
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    Backlit grasses near Golconda Illinois.
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    Frog in woods west of Golconda Ill.
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    Remnants of a log cabin which likely stood when the Cherokee passed by. West of Golconda, Illinois.
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    Old strap and buckle still hanging on log cabin which may have stood when the Cherokee passed. West of Golconda Illinois.
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    Grantsburg Swamp along the Cherokee Trail of Tears, Shawnee National Forest Illinois.
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    Original Trace of Trail of Tears in Southern Illinois.
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    Aptly named gas station in Anna Il.
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    What a story this ghost could tell. Southern Illinois near the Mississippi.
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    Swale of the road Cherokee Trail of Tears traveled, Mantle Rock State Park, Ky.
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    Mantle Rock along the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Mantle Rock Preserve, Kentucky.
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    Memorial for "Princess Otahki" at Trail of Tears State Park Missouri. Many Cherokee perished in the effort to cross the partially frozen Mississippi River near this location.
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    Personal memorial for "Princess Otahki" at Trail of Tears State Park Missouri. Many Cherokee perished in the effort to cross the partially frozen Mississippi River near this location.
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    Trail of Tears State Park entrance sign, Mo.
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    Rural scene along the Trail of Tears west of Trail Tears State Park n Eastern Missouri.
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    Messing around at lunch, East Missouri. Earlier in the day I bid goodbye to my wife's sisters Becky and Susie who drove down from Taylorville to visit me along my hike, Becky and her husband Andy have been incredibly helpful and supportive through the years. A huge Thank You to the awesome Patarozzi family!
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    Abandoned homestead from Road 72 on The Cherokee Trail of Tears in eastern Missouri.
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    Cat under pick-up truck near Sedgwickvill, Missouri.
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    Local dogs can be intimidating but most are just curious like this fellow. (Dog packs are the worst).
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    Moon behind leaf from hollow west of Sedgewickville, Missouri along the Cherokee Trail of Tears.
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    Camp west of Sedgewickville, Missouri along the Cherokee Trail of Tears.
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    Farm scene along the trail in Eastern Missouri.
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    Whimsical Oak Tree along the Trail of Tears in Eastern Missouri.
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    Another abandoned abandonment, Eastern Missouri.
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    Old building near Yount. Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears in Eastern Missouri.
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    Overgrown homestead near Yount. Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears in Eastern Missouri.
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    Autumn leaf, Mark Twain National Forest south of Farmington . Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears in Eastern Missouri.
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    Nice campsite in Mark Twain National Forest, MO.
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    Former business south of Steelville MO.
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    Remnants of Massey Ironworks located in Crawford County, passed by 10 detachments of Cherokee in 1838 and '39.
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    Cover of book "The Five Civilized Tribes" I was reading along my trek of The Trail of Tears.
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    Sin, redemption and recreation offered along Frontage Road west of Waynsville, Missouri.
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    Leafscape during a lunch break east of Lebanon Missouri.
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    Once a Diner along Route 66 near Phillipsburg MO.
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    This folded fellow plopped down beside me during a lunch break. He likes to fit in. Near Niangua Missouri.
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    But when he spreads his wings… Moth near Niangua Missouri.
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    Oak trees on foggy day along the Cherokee Trail of Tears north of Springfield Missouri.
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    Waterwheel, part of personal whimsical sculpture along old Route 66 near Jerome Missouri, each stone was place by the hands of Larry Baggett. Larry moved on in 2003.
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    Entrance to personal Trail of Tears Memorial near Jerome Missouri, each stone was place by the hands of Larry Baggett. Larry moved on in 2003.
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    Personal Trail of Tears Memorial near Jerome Missouri, each stone was place by the hands of Larry Baggett. Larry moved on in 2003.
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    Trail of Tears along Old Wire Road north of Cassville.
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    Old farmhouse along Old Wire Road north of Cassville.
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    Feather on leaf in McMurtry Springs south of Cassville. McMurtry Springs was a camp location for many of the Cherokee detachments.
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    William Ruddick Home, when the Cherokee passed by this area this house was a one story log cabin. Pea Ridge National Battlefield Arkansas.
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    Sunset in window of the William Ruddick Home, when the Cherokee passed by this area this house was a one story log cabin. Pea Ridge National Battlefield Arkansas.
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    Drifters Club, a drinking establishment on the outskirts of Fayeteville.
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    Ever feel there is something lurking behind you? Roadside kitsch near Lincoln Arkansas.
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    Once someones dream, (abandoned motel) Summers Arkansas.
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    Last day of my Trail of Tears journey just a few miles from Tahlequah Oklahoma.
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    Tahlequah Courthouse, Oklahoma. The Courthouse, built by the Cherokee represents the western terminus of the Cherokee Trail of Tears.
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    Mural in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
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    Sequoyah, inventor of the Cherokee Alphabet. He is the only person to singlehandedly create an alphabet. Tahlequah Oklahoma.
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    Grave site memorial for Chief John Ross a few miles from Tahlequah Oklahoma.

Summary of the Trail




1987 - Trail of Tears NHT

This Trail also commemorates Indian removal.  It was added to the National Trails System in 1987 at the 150th anniversary of the Cherokee Removal and retraces the routes used by the U.S. Army to forcibly remove the Cherokee and other Native peoples from their homelands in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama to Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma.    Nearly one-fifth of the Cherokee Nation died in the holding forts and during the journey.  In 2009, 2,845 miles of additional route were added (after an appropiate feasibility study) to tell the fuller story of this complex and tragic chapter of American history.  Today the Trail consists of an interstate skein of routes - some overland and a few by river - representing the many different routes used for this evacuation.  The Trail is administered by the National Park Service in close cooperation with the Trail of Tears Association.  Both parties, and many other partners along the way, are devoted to the protection, preservation, development and interpretation of the Trail.  At many sites visitors learn of the effects of the U.S. Government's Indian Removal policy on Native peoples, including the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muskogee Creek and Seminole tribes.

(See websites for www.nps.gov/tota, the Trail of Tears Association, and the Cherokee Heritage Center.)