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Illinois Chapter

Contact Information

Illinois TOTA Chapter
P.O. Box 313
Anna, IL 62906
Phone: 618-697-0097

Board of Directors

President, Sandra Boaz - skboaz@yahoo.com
Vice President, Heather Carey - hcarey@fs.fed.us
Secretary, Gary Hacker - lake3@hughes.net
Treasurer, Harvey Henson - henson@geo.siu.edu
Director, Cindy Abbott – cc.abbott.176@gmail.com
Director, Jon Musgrave - jon.musgrave@mchsi.com
Director, Alan Edditngton - alanmed2000@yahoo.com 
Director & National Board Rep, Rowena McClinton, Ph.D. - rmcclin@siue.edu
Emeritus Board Member, Joe Crabb – joethelcrabb@gmail.com
Emeritus Board Member, John O’Dell – jodell@shawneetourism.com

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

  • In the process of marking the Water Route along the Illinois shore of the Ohio River
  • ​Sharing information with other state and regional entities to accomplish documentation, trails, etc. that the chapter is not able to do alone
  • Periodically, offer all-day bus guided tours of the trail segments and sites in Illinois
  • 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.
  • Working with Illinois Department of Transportation to improve interpretive signage and design displays/waysides along the Auto Trail Route (mainly IL Rt.146). 
  • Chapter brochure includes a map of the Trail of Tears through Southern Illinois based on research and GPS coordinates of actual remnants of the Trail of Tears 
  • 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 has available an 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.  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.


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