Supporting The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
Supporting The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Trail Maps & Databases
The Story

Trail segment along the Northern Route at Pea Ridge National Military Park in northwestern Arkansas. The wayside exhibits overlooking the Arkansas River at Fort Smith National Historic Site, located on the Water Route in western Arkansas, depict in 5 individual panels the removal stories of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Nations. The award-winning Trail of Tears exhibit at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, OK, includes a tactile "bead wall," with each bead representing one removed Cherokee, totaling 16,000 beads. Also, life-cast figures depict the travel along the Trail of Tears.

General Info | Chapter Events | Historical Sites

Contact Information:
Illinois TOTA Chapter
P.O. Box 313
Anna, IL 62906

Phone: 618-697-0097 or  618-949-3355



Board of Directors:

Sandra Boaz

Vice President

Joe Crabb

SecretaryGary Hacker


Harvey Henson


Heather Carey


Jon Musgrave

Director & National Board Rep
Rowena McClinton, Ph.D.
National Board Rep

Research Projects:
  • Visiting landowners with certifiable sites along the Trail and putting them in touch with National Park Service
  • Supporting certification of authentic sites and collecting GPS coordinates along the original route for the National Park Service to more accurately mark the Trail
  • On-going oral history project of videotaping people telling stories of family lore or history of the Trail of Tears as it pertained to Illinois.
Chapter Activities:
  • Working with Illinois Department of Transportation to improve interpretive signage and design displays/waysides along the Auto Trail Route (mainly IL Rt.146). The National Park Service is in the process of making signs to be placed on the Trail in Pope County. Several of these signs have been delivered and we are waiting for a county work person to install them.
  • Supporting enactment of an Illinois state trail that follows the Cherokee Removal route through southern Illinois
  • A "Mapping the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois" exhibit featuring maps and information on the Trail of Tears, originally hosted by the University Museum at Southern Illinois University from September through December 2007, has been traveling across Southern Illinois, schools, museums and historical societies. WSIU-TV and Vickie Devenport have sponsored and promoted the display which depicts a pictorial history of the TOT through Southern Illinois. The exhibit was assembled by Harvey Henson and Karen Frailey with assistance and information provided by Illinois chapter board members.
  • A new map of the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois based on research and GPS coordinates of actual remnants of the Trail of Tears is being created by board members, Joe Crabb for Pope County, Gary Hacker for Johnson County, and Sandy Boaz for Union County, who have painstakingly researched the actual trail Cherokee emigrants used to pass through Illinois. Harvey Henson is working with these fellow board members and historians to create a digital map of the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois.
  • Gary Hacker recently completed the 180 page book, "The Trail of Tears in Johnson County, Illinois - Documenting the Trail of Tears", with color photographs of the path of the Trail in Johnson County, maps, and information from other local researchers. He donated a copy to our chapter and to the NPS.  Additional copies are available from Gary for $20.00 each.
  • Detailed geophysical (remote sensing) mapping of the Camp Ground Cemetery by Harvey Henson was completed and a final report is available from the NPS. Unmarked graves were located that may correspond to the TOT episode.


General Info | Chapter Events | Historical Sites

1100 North University, Suite 143
Little Rock, AR 72207
Phone: (501) 666-9032
Fax: (501) 666-5875

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