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Red Clay State Historic Park is a state park located in southern Bradley County, Tennessee established in 1979. The park is also listed as an interpretive center along the Cherokee Trail of Tears. It encompasses 263 acres (1.06 km2) of land and is located just above the Tennessee-Georgia stateline.

Red Clay State Historic Park
Eternal Flame of the Cherokee Nation
TypeTennessee State Park
LocationBradley County, Tennessee
Area263 acres (1.06 km2)
Openyear round
Red Clay Council Ground
Red Clay State Park is located in Tennessee
Red Clay State Park
Red Clay State Park is located in the United States
Red Clay State Park
Nearest cityCleveland, Tennessee
Area150 acres (61 ha)
WebsiteRed Clay State Park
NRHP reference #72001229[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 14, 1972

The park was the site of the last seat of Cherokee national government before the 1838 enforcement of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 by the U.S. military, which resulted in most of the Cherokee people in the area being forced to emigrate West. Eleven general councils were held between 1832 and 1837.[2]

Before the site was a government council site, it was used for many different Cherokee rituals because of its famous spring named the Blue Hole Spring.

The James F. Corn Interpretive Center features exhibits about 18th and 19th century Cherokee culture, government, economy, recreation, religion and history. A series of stained glass windows depicts the forced removal of the Cherokee and subsequent Trail of Tears emigration. There is also a video about the Cherokee. Outside there is a replica of a Cherokee farmstead and a Council House.

Other nearby Cherokee points of interest are the cabin of Chief John Ross located in Rossville, Georgia[3] and the grave site of Nancy Ward in Benton, Tennessee.


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Lois Osborne, "Red Clay State Historic Park," Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture.
  3. ^ Ross House,, 2003.

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