Manitou Cave of Alabama recently received certification as a Trail of Tears National Historic Trail Interpretive Center. The National Park Service National Historic Trail Office out of Santa Fe, New Mexico, granted the certification. The timing of this certification coincides with the 200th anniversary of Sequoyah’s invention of the Cherokee syllabary.
To commemorate these two special occasions, the Alabama Humanities Alliance and Manitou Cave of Alabama located in Fort Payne, Alabama will host a dedication event on Saturday, Sept. 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the public is invited to attend. The event itinerary is as follows: At 11 a.m., Annette F. Reynolds, director and steward of Manitou Cave of Alabama, will take the podium to introduce the history of Manitou Cave followed by Sharon Freeman, former president of the Trail of Tears Association, Alabama Chapter and archaeologist, will speak on Modern Archaeology of Willstown and its Connection to Manitou Cave and the Trail of Tears. At 12 p.m., author presentations of books and publications on the Trail of Tears and Cherokee history (Amy Kostine of Middle Tennessee State University, Larry Smith of the Trail of Tears Association, and Jessica Harper-Brown of Landmarks of DeKalb County). At 1 p.m., there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce and Steve Black from the National Park Service will present certificates to the City of Fort Payne. At 2 p.m., Charlie Rhodarmer, Executive Director of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, will speak on Sequoyah’s Bicentennial. This is an outdoor event.