Charleston/Calhoun/Hiwassee greenway gets financial boost

Charleston/Calhoun/Hiwassee greenway gets financial boost

October 10th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

The Charleston City Park will be part of a plan unveiled Friday for a Hiwassee area historical interpretation project. A visitors center would be located in an empty bank building. The pedestrian trail would follow an original section of U.S. 11, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, through town, linking with the Fort Cass area, the U.S. government's command post for the Trail of Tears, the Cypress swamp, a unique environmental feature for Tennessee and the river where Civil War actions took place.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - An interpretative greenway focusing on the history of Charleston, Tenn., took another step closer to reality Sunday with a donation from the Bradley County Historical and Genealogy Society.

The society presented a $1,250 check to the Charleston/Calhoun/Hiwassee Historical Society after Melissa Woody, convention and visitors bureau vice president for the Chamber of Commerce, reviewed the project.

The Charleston/Calhoun/Hiwassee group already had raised $113,000 to buy an empty Regions Bank building for a visitors center at the start of the proposed greenway. The group has been offered a special price of $132,000 and has a closing set for Nov. 30.

The greenway would begin at the intersection of the old and current U.S. Highway 11 and link 10 historical landmarks on a 1.94-mile walk to the Hiwassee River.

The greenway would highlight Fort Cass, a Trail of Tears point of origin, along with Civil War landmarks and later-day attractions at a park on the Hiwassee.

"Charleston has a national significance,'' Woody said.

A visitors center focused on local history would attract more people from Interstate 75, just three miles away.

Bryan Reed, president of the Bradley historical society and history professor at Cleveland State Community College, pointed out that cont ributions continue to grow to buy the bank building, including from members of the Charleston/Calhoun society.

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