Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kentucky - Eddyville


Left Tennessee for Kentucky on May 12, 2016. We stopped at R.P. Williams Repair shop on the way, they put in the new sensor and we still don't have a speedometer and the ABS light is still on. So once again back to square one. Next plan is a place in Louisville, which is where we go from here.
The rest of the drive was in and out of rain, so hard at times we couldn't see very well. When we arrived at the campground it cleared enough to set up. 

We stayed at Outback RV Resort. It is very well kept with mostly full time and seasonal residents. The sites are long enough for an RV, tow dolly and parking the car, all asphalt and gravel, with full hook ups.  A little on the narrow side but not to bad. The laundry room and bathrooms were very clean. The cost was $35 a night with our Good Sam discount.

Paducah is where the Kentucky, Peter Toth Indian is located, so after setting up we ventured out to find him. He calls George Noble Park home. At 35-feet tall he is pretty impressive. He was hand chiseled from a local 56,000 pound red oak in 1985, to honor the Chickasaw Indians. It is the 50th carving on the Trail of the Whispering Giants. His name, Wacinton means to have understanding. 

There is a nice river front area with a walking path and places to sit and picnic. The park is bordered by a beautiful mural wall depicting the history of the area. 

The Paleo Indians, often called Big Game Hunters lived in this area near the end of the last Ice Age, about 13,000 years ago. 

Indians of the Archaic Traditions were here around 3,000 years ago and were the first to begin domestication of plants and to live in permanent villages and build cemeteries.

After the flood in 1937, the worst disaster in the U.S. up to that time, more problems came in 1938. This time in the form of ice. The Ohio River froze solid, clear to Illinois. After cautiously testing the ice, cars, bikes, and skaters made there way onto it. All barge traffic stopped at this once bustling port, until the river thawed. 
On October 18, 1950 the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission approved the site of the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, a new facility in the nation's rapidly growing nuclear production complexes. It brought sudden change to the community. Local population doubled as the construction work force arrived. Retail sales rose from $44 million in 1950 to $94 million in 1953, and school enrollment rose from 8,000 to 12,000 in the same time frame.

The Trail of Tears crosses nine states and is the trail that was traveled by Indian Tribes being forced to move west to Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. 
In the 1600's about 25,000 Cherokee lived on lands stretching from the Ohio River to northern Georgia. European diseases devastated the Cherokee throughout the 1700's and by 1819 Americans' unquenchable thirst for land had all but depleted Cherokee lands, it was down to 10% of their original territory. But they continued to survive, they adopted many of the political and economic features of the U.S. and shaped a stable and prosperous life, one envied by their white neighbors. 
In 1803 Thomas Jefferson was the first president to publicly support removal of the Indians and for the next 25 years eastern tribes were forced west. 
In 1830, after Andrew Jackson became President, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, providing "for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the states or territories, and for their removal west of the Mississippi River." The state of Georgia, passed laws prohibiting the Cherokee from conducting tribal business, testifying against whites, and mining for gold. 
The Cherokee Nation had raised leaders well versed in the U.S. legal system who fought back. In Worcester v. Georgia the US Supreme Court ruled in 1832 that the Cherokee held sovereign land rights. President Jackson openly dismissed the ruling. The tribes were running out of options. 
Once the Removal Act was passed government agents descended on the Indian villages and one by one the tribes were removed. 
The Choctaw, the first to be coerced in signing the removal treaty, were moved out in 1831. The Muscogee Creeks, many in chains were moved in 1836. The Chickasaw were taken away by the end of 1837. After fierce resistance and great losses in the Seminole Wars, some 4000 Seminoles were deported from Florida in 1842. 
The Cherokee resisted removal in hopes their leaders could sway American political opinion. 20 tribal leaders acting outside the Cherokee government, signed the Treaty of New Echota in 1835, making the conditions for removal set. In exchange for $5 million the tribe would relocate to Indian Territory. Even though the majority of Cherokee protested the agreement, in May 1836 Congress made it law. They had two years to voluntarily move. Most refused to recognize the treaty. In the spring of 1838, 7,000 soldiers under General Scott moved the Cherokee families into "round-up" camps. They were then loaded onto flatboats to travel the Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi and Arkansas rivers to Indian Territory. The first boat made it in 13 days, the next two groups were plagued with fatalities as diseases raged through the cramped, poorly-supplied boats. 
Chief John Ross petitioned General Scott to let the Cherokee control their own removal. Detachments of about 1,000 each were organized and they traveled by foot, horse, and wagon for 800 miles, taking 8 months to reach Indian Territory. Prearranged supply points were not stocked as they should have been. Of the approximate 15,000 forced from their homes, many hundreds died in the camps, on the boats or on the journey. The Cherokee Nation remained alive, in the spirits of the people. Today the Cherokee and other removed tribes survive as vigorous Indian nations. 
The Trail of Tears story is one of racial injustice, intolerance, and suffering. But it is also a story of survival, of a people thriving in the present while remembering the past, not only in Oklahoma, but in the homelands of southern Appalachia. 
The Trail of Tears Commemorative Park is in Hopkinsville, KY. This is one of the  few documented sites where camp was made along the trail. It was used in 1838 and 39. There is a small log cabin with display cases of Indian artifacts and on the first full weekend after Labor Day they hold a PowWow on site. 

The statue is a memorial to the trail and was given to the people of Kentucky in October 1988 by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in appreciation of their remembrance of the 150th anniversary of the tragic "Trial of Tears"

The grounds are also the burial site for two Cherokee Chiefs who died here, Fly Smith and Whitepath
Once again we left feeling like there could have been more, more displays, and more information.
After losing two sightseeing days at the last stop we needed to travel back into Tennessee to go to Nashville. We drove through the downtown area with a stop at Antique and Architecture, which is a really cool place. It is housed in the old Marathon Automobile Building. 

The hallways are lined with old equipment and the walls are filled with pictures of old cars and the area from years back. There are lots of shops with a variety of items, art galleries, coffee shops, eateries and a winery. 
You could spend a whole day here.

Crazy busy Broadway Street

In every city there is the contrast of old and new

Old cemeteries are a favorite of Nancy's. Some of the graves in the Nashville City Cemetery date back to the early 1800's. There are many Civil War soliders buried here along with other prominent Nashville people. 
Flat headstones and footstones date back hundreds
of years and are some of the oldest in the cemetery
What was really neat about this place, is they have large "books" that tell you information about some of the people who are buried here, also about the different types of vaults, and tombstones and the meanings of the markings on them. We spent so much time here we didn't get to some of the other things we had planned! 
Box Tombs or False Crypts are distinguished by
the sarcophagus appearance. They are only symbolic -
the coffin is below the crypt. 

Table stones were inscribed with the departed's name

Cenotaphs are erected in memory of an individual who is buried in another location. Obelisks were common in the 1840's and 50's and were seen as patriotic. 
The Cenotaph on the right honors John Sevier, Tennessee's first
governor, who is buried in Knoxville. 

Vaults, both under and above ground are traditionally used for family remains. As much as Nancy loves cemeteries there is no way she would go down these stairs! 

Then there are the unconventional ones. A small table top with a couple in an embrace and an old tree stump with an anchor. 

Left: Three rings = the Trinity. Right: Weeping Willow Tree
was the most popular image up to 1860
and represents mourning
and sadness

The thing we found most interesting was the explanation of the markings on the headstones. We have seen some these markings in other cemeteries but never knew what they all meant.

Clasped Hands - farewell and devotion of departed
Crown and Cross mean everlasting life
Finger pointing means soul has gone to heaven

Flowers are a symbol of Christ and a shortness of life

Angels are a sign of rebirth, resurrection and protection

Off to Louisville and family next. 

Till we meet again...

Happy Trails to You!

Tips and things we have learned along the way.
~ Waste not want not
We have re-purposed many things over the last year. Drapes from our house have been cut down and used in the RV, baskets have been altered for a new use. Old rugs are now used outside to protect our knees when setting up or taking down. 
Now we have re-purposed our old memory-foam kitchen rug. It was showing its age. So we brought in a new one.
The old was cut down to use on the stairs coming into the RV. We have tried other rugs and nothing stays put. This will make it much more comfortable and easy to clean. 

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