Bell Tavern

The White River Road, which served as the Trail of Tears route, also crossed through this quarter section. The first known mention of this location (23CN571) as "Bell Tavern" appears in the 1837 diary of Dr. W. I. I. Morrow (1839), a conductor for a Cherokee detachment on the Trail of Tears. The detachment stopped at "Mr. Dye’s [Bell Tavern]" on March 14, 1837 (National Park Service 1992:74). Conductor B. B. Cannon also recorded camping at Mr. Dye’s on December 17-20, 1837 (Cannon 1978:158-163). During this brief stay, Cannon noted that they "buried Dreadful Water this evening." Wilson’s Cemetery (23CN750) lies adjacent to site 23CN571. The remains of Dreadful Water and perhaps other Cherokee may be interred in this cemetery. In 2006-2007, Dr. Holly Jones obtained $30,000 in funding via a National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Program to study sites associated with the Trail of Tears in Christian County. The 2006 MSU Archaeological Field School and volunteers from the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society tested and excavated what is believed to be the Bell Tavern (left), a stop along the Cherokee northern removal route to Oklahoma during the late 1830s. This research resulted in the identification of 48 foundation stones, stonewares, refined earthenwares, glass, metal, and a clay pipe.