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Red Clay Season Begins
By Julie Steele
Chattanooga, TN – Red Clay Historic Park is located in the extreme Southwest corner of Bradley County Tennessee, just above the Tennessee-Georgia State Line. The park encompasses 263-acres of narrow valleys formerly used as cotton and pasture land. This summer it will be the location of several events for the community.
The park's special events kicked off in March with the second annual Red Clay Homecoming, in which all former residents of Red Clay Tennessee and Georgia came home bringing old photos, letters and newspaper clippings. They told stories about the area before the park was formed.
The Flint Springs Ruritan Craft Fair is June 12 and 13.
Red Clay served as the seat of the Cherokee Government from 1832 until the forced removal of the Cherokee in 1838. It was the site of 11 General Councils, national affairs attended by up to five thousand people. Those years were filled with frustrating efforts to insure the future of the Cherokee. Chief John Ross, one of the leaders of the Cherokee, led their fight to keep the Cherokee's Eastern lands, refusing the government's efforts to move his people to Oklahoma.
Controversial treaties, however, resulted in the surrendering of the land and the removal of the Cherokee. It was at Red Clay that the Trail of Tears really began. It was at the Red Clay Council Grounds that the Cherokee learned that they had lost their mountains, streams and valleys forever.