Monday, April 26, 2010

Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Center - Fort Mitchell, Alabama

Perhaps the most beautiful and emotion-invoking monument in Alabama stands on a high ridge overlooking the Chattahoochee River valley at Fort Mitchell. It memorializes the last ceremonial fire of the Creek Nation before its removal west on the Trail of tears.

A centerpiece of the Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Center, the Ceremonial Flame memorial reminds visitors of the significance of the land on which they are walking. This site, adjacent to the old U.S. Army post of Fort Mitchell, was where thousands of Creek men, women and children were assembled in camps before being moved west under military escort. Untold numbers of them died due to starvation, disease, exposure and other hardships before they reached the Indian Nations of today's Oklahoma.

Panels surrounding the memorial list the names from the final census of the Creeks before their "removal." They provide an startling reminder of how many Creek families once lived in Alabama and how many lost their homes in 1836-1838 when they were driven from their land.

The Heritage Center adjoins Fort Mitchell Historic Site, which features a beautiful visitor center/museum, restored frontier fort and other historic sites and exhibits. The two combine to create one of the most interesting and educational heritage attractions in Alabama.

To learn more, please visit

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