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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Fontana Village in Graham County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Fontana's First Stewards:

The Native American Heritage

 
 
Fontana's First Stewards: Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 5, 2020
1. Fontana's First Stewards: Marker
Inscription.  Fontana Dam is surrounded by land that is extremely rich in cultural heritage. In fact, humans have populated the region for more than 10,000 years. recovered artifacts link to a civilization called the Mississippian Culture living in the region around 1000 AD.

By the 1500s, the Cherokee lived in the Southern Appalachia region, including the Fontana area. They were the first Native American tribe to develop their own written language, print a newspaper and even draft their own constitution.

Friction between the Cherokee and the United States increased in the early 19th century. Eventually, this led to the forced removal of many Cherokee from their lands in the Southeastern united States. This eviction, known as the "Trail of Tears", displaced most Cherokee to Oklahoma. However, a small population remained in the region and became known as the Qualla or "Citizen" Cherokees.

The Qualla obtained a corporate charter in 1870 and purchased land in Western North Carolina known as the Qualla Boundary. Today, nearly 14,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee call this area home and their culture remains a vibrant part
Fontana's First Stewards: Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 5, 2020
2. Fontana's First Stewards: Marker
of the region. In fact, many Cherokee were part of the huge workforce that helped construct Fontana Dam in the early 1940s.

Today, 18 federally recognized American Indian tribes have religious and cultural ties to the Tennessee Valley. TVA works closely with all tribes to ensure the respect and protection of irreplaceable Native American resources, archaeological sites, artifacts, human remains ad traditional cultural areas.
 
Erected by Tennessee Valley Authority.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans.
 
Location. 35° 27.112′ N, 83° 48.143′ W. Marker is in Fontana Village, North Carolina, in Graham County. Marker can be reached from Fontana Dam Road (County Highway 1245) 1.4 miles north of Fontana Road (State Highway 28), on the left when traveling west. Located at the Fontana Dam and Visitors Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fontana Dam NC 28733, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Appalachian Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Fontana Dam: (within shouting distance of this marker); Fontana Dam (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Welcome to Fontana Dam (approx. 0.2 miles away); The TVA System of Multi-purpose Dams
Fontana's First Stewards: Marker image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 5, 2020
3. Fontana's First Stewards: Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Appalachian Trail (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Fontana Dam (approx. ¾ mile away); Civil War in Graham County (approx. 8.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fontana Village.
 
Fontana Dam image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 5, 2020
4. Fontana Dam
Fontana Dam image. Click for full size.
By Tom Bosse, September 5, 2020
5. Fontana Dam
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 13, 2020, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 60 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 13, 2020, by Tom Bosse of Jefferson City, Tennessee. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021