On May 12, 1962, the former capital of the Cherokee Nation was named a state historic site in Georgia. To celebrate the anniversary, New Echota State Historic Site will host a celebration and open house at 2 p.m. Saturday. The day will be filled with living-history demonstrations, American Indian arts and crafts, and guest speakers.
New Echota is one of the most significant Cherokee Indian sites in the United States. In 1825, the Cherokee legislature established its capital on the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was the site of the first Indian language newspaper and one of the earliest experiments in national self-government by an Indian tribe. It was here where the treaty relinquishing Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River was signed and the Trail of Tears began.
During the 50th anniversary celebration, Jim Langford of the Coosawattee Foundation will speak. A temporary cache will be hidden for geocachers who enjoy history-based treasure hunts. Visitors will be able to tour 12 original and reconstructed buildings, including the Court House, Print Shop, missionary home and an 1805 store.
New Echota is one mile east of I-75 Exit 317 on Georgia Highway 225. It is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Regular admission is $4.50 for children and $6.50 for adults, but admission will be free during the Saturday celebration.
To learn more, visit GeorgiaStateParks.org/NewEchota or call 706-624-1321.