Welcome to the North Carolina Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association

The Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1993 to support the development and interpretation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Designated by Congress in 1987, the National Trail commemorates the forced removal of Cherokee people from their homelands in the southeastern United States to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the late 1830s. TOTA maintains chapters in each of the nine states containing segments of the Trail.

This website presents the work of TOTA members in North Carolina. Click on the wayside exhibits below to learn about significant sites we have marked and interpreted in recent years. Follow the maps to visit the sites yourself and experience the story of Cherokee struggle, resistance, and perseverance in Western North Carolina.

This website was made possible by a grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership.


  • aquoheecourthouse_thumbAquohee District Courthouse.

  • “scott-thumb"Camp Scott

  • CherCoMuseum300x225Cherokee County Historical Museum

  • hiding-thumb2Creek Resistance in Hanging Dog Mtns.

  • Fort ButlerFort Butler

  • delaney-thumbnailFort Delaney

  • Fort HembreeFort Hembree

  • Lindsay-thumbnailFort Lindsay

  • Fort Montgomery

  • StateThumbnailGreat State & Old Army Roads

  • junaluska-thumbnailJunaluska Memorial

  • MOCI-thumbMuseum of the Cherokee Indian

  • nantahalathumbNantahala Town

  • quallathumbQualla Town

  • UnakaRoadSanitized-thumbUnicoy Turnpike

  • hiding-thumb2Valley River Resistance

  • indian_school-thumbValley Town Baptist Mission

From Facebook

Over 100 people turned out yesterday at the historic Chief John Ross House in Rossville, GA to hear Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park ranger Chris Young speak about Chief Ross and how we should never allow history to "fade away". Some of the TOTA members at the event are pictured below: L-R Linda Baker, John Wible,Vicki Rozema, Anita Finger-Smith, Debbie Moore, Ron Moore and Cleata Townsend. Our utmost thanks to Larry Rose Sr and Larry Rose Jr for hosting this event and to Ranger Young for his stirring presentation. ... See MoreSee Less

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NCTOTA member Ben Steere cheering on Anne Rogers and Anita Finger-Smith who are compiling Education Packets about the Trail of Tears in WNC for incoming faculty at Western Carolina University for their Cherokee-theme this academic year. Thanks, too, to Paige Tester (not pictured). What would we do without dedicated members! Go Cats! ... See MoreSee Less

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Paige Tester, NCTOTA secretary, at the site of Fort Hembree just off the Unicoi Turnpike, or Trail of Tears. Cherokees gathered by the army to this collection point near today's Hayesville then marched toward Fort Butler (Murphy) in 1838. From there, they were forced to walk over the mountains to Fort Armistead in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. ... See MoreSee Less

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