Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home, Rome

Historical Significance: The Chieftains tells the story of Major Ridge, the influential Ridge family including prominent son John Ridge, Cherokee history, and the Trail of Tears, as well as subsequent history of the home and region. Eventually, Major Ridge - and others that became known as the "Treaty Party" - began to advocate removal as the only option to preserve the Cherokee people. They were leaders in the signing of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota that resulted in Cherokee removal.

Available Facilities: The museum property (almost six acres) includes the Major Ridge Home and grounds, recently excavated archeological foundations of outbuildings, wooded areas and shoreline of the Oostanaula River, and a ferry site. The Gaynelle Parrish Grizzard Center for Cherokee Studies, in an adapted historic structure onsite, is used for classes, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations related to the interpretation and understanding of Cherokee history and culture. The museum has a gift shop and accessible restrooms. The site is operated by Chieftains Museum, Inc.

Exhibits: The museum houses permanent and temporary exhibits about the Ridge Family, Trail of Tears, and Cherokee culture. The exhibits also feature artifacts from archeological digs onsite.

Special Programs: The museum serves as a cultural center, offering annual and special events for local artists.

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