New Echota's Winter Newsletter

Friends volunteers at New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun have their latest edition of the "New Echota Phoenix," their quarterly newsletter. Please enjoy their latest edition and find out what is not only happening at this fascinating site, but how you can be a part of their fun!

New Echota Phoenix Winter 2013

Happy New Year from New Echota:

After the rainy Your State Park Day in September, great weather was enjoyed at New Echota on October 20th for Frontier Day with over 267 visitors and 56 volunteers! Demonstrators, artists, volunteers and staff joined together to feature Cherokee history site interpreters and living history demonstrations - including basketry, weaving, candle making, tanning, flint knapping, black iron cooking and the operation of the Cherokee Phoenix Print Shop press. Musical performances included Lynn Baines and Gary Green (who told quite a few stories too)! Over 500 visitors came out in the moonlight on December 1st for the Christmas Candlelight Tour. The simple beauty of early 1800’s period holiday decorations was made possible by Gordon County Master Gardeners (Vann‘s Tavern), Garden Buddies (Cherokee Farmstead Cabin), Georgia Trail of Tears Association (Print Shop) and FONE (Council House and Roger’s Cabin). New teen groups really raised the creativity bar - Sonoraville High School Interact Club and Environmental Science students (Court House) and Sigma Phi-Elan (Worcester House). Gary Greene sang and told stories in the Council House, the New Echota Singers sang carols in the Court House and Carole Hall performed at the Worchester House. Behind the scenes staff and volunteers gathered the greenery, prepared luminaries, baked, and served teacakes and apple cider (Ranger Ron’s special recipe) and started the fires.

Thanks to local Boy Scout Troop 30 for patrol and care of luminaries and candles during the event. In 2013, we have a special opportunity to recognize the 175 year history of the Trail of Tears which began at New Echota Historical Site in May 1838. Mark your calendars now for May 18th when FONE plans a Trail of Tears Memorial Service featuring the music of recording artist and cultural educator, Tommy Wildcat from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. We are networking with tribal liaisons, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Economic Development’s Tourism Division, Georgia Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) and others. A Trail of Tears commemorative exhibit will be at the I-75 South Visitor Information Center from May through July. In June, the site will host the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Trail of Tears Cyclist overnight and provide dinner. Everyone is invited to the FONE quarterly meeting at the site on Thursday, January 24th at 6:30 pm to plan for the memorial service and related activities. Thanks to our local Chick-Fil-A for October Spirit Night and the FONE volunteers who staffed this fundraiser! The Peach Orchard Project fund goal was met and trees will be planted soon. FONE appreciates your memberships, volunteer services and monetary and in-kind donations. Let’s continue to PARTNER, PROMOTE AND PRESERVE interest in the New Echota Cherokee Capital - how the Cherokee lived in NW Georgia, the true history of the removal which began from this site in 1838, and respect for Cherokee tribes and cultures today. Hope to see you at New Echota soon! Carmen E. Shuler, M.A.

The Calhoun Highway 53 Chick- fil-A provided FONE with their annual Spirit Night in October. FONE Volunteers gave out information and solicited donations. Community supporters asked that a portion of their meal tab go to FONE. The COW on duty flagged down cars, danced around in the dining room and posed for a picture with FONE vice president Linda Fletcher and president Carmen Shuler.


Friends of New Echota (FONE) General Meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013, at 6:30 PM. Collaborative community planning of memorial service & other commemoration for 175 years since Cherokee Trail of Tears began (1838-2013). Georgia Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) will be represented. Other Cherokee historic sites and preservationist groups encouraged to send representatives. Public always encouraged to attend quarterly FONE meetings.

Wildcat to be Featured at 175 Years Memorial Service on May 18, 2013

175 Years: Cherokee Trail of Tears Memorial Service (1838 - 2013) is set for Saturday, May 18th 2013. Tommy Wildcat, N.A.M.A. 2002 “Flutist of the Year,” will be featured. Tommy is an Enrolled Member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a Native American flute artist, and historical cultural performer. Tommy's accolades have accumulated over the years, since 1988 promoting the Cherokees and Native American culture and history, credits of Awards, music, CDs and the film industry, Music, utilized by all 3 Cherokee tribes. TOMMY now Works for Cherokee Nation Community services Cherokees at-Large Program, in Tahlequah Oklahoma.

national journalism educators are encouraged to make school of journalism students aware of this important milestone.

Did You Know that New Echota is a National Journalism Historic Site (awarded by the Professional Journalism Society?

In 1971, Sigma Delta Chi, the Professional Journalistic Society (PJS), recognized the site for national historic status and placed a plaque on the exterior of the museum which cites: “The Cherokee Nation of Indians established the first Indian language newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix, on this site in 1828. Edited by Cherokee Elias Boudinot and later by Elijah Hicks, the Cherokee Phoenix was printed bilingually in the Sequoyan Syllabary adopted by the Cherokees, and in English, during the period 1828-1834.” February 21, 2013, will mark the 185th Anniversary since the first paper was printed. PJS plans to issue anniversary updates to their members through their social media and newsletters. 

New Echota of Interest to Media: AIB TV Atlanta is producing a special for Native American Heritage Month (November). AIB Producer Aria Fiore will visit New Echota to include the site and conduct interviews with interpretive staff. Sally Winchester, Marketing and Communications Manager for GA State Parks and Historic Sites Marketing Unit Headquarters, and New Echota Site Manger David Gomez are liaisons on this project.

FONE has submitted a funding application requesting $5,000 from STATE FRIENDS. Funding is requested to assist FONE in funding the Trail of Tears Memorial Service in May 18th, the Cherokee Trail of Tears Cyclist (host meal in June), Echota Day (Oct 19.), and the December 7th Christmas Candlelight Tour. The proposal also requests funds for pruning of trees for visitor safety and renovation of flag pole displays for the Cherokee tribal flags (beside the Trail of Tears memorial monument).

Chance to Purchase Beautiful Themed Rug & Support New Echota American Dakota Rugs - New Echota Themed Rugs Update: The Finger Weave design made it into a 2013 Summer Catalog for Black Forest Décor (
The Finger Weave design reflects a technique used prior to framed looms by the Cherokee to make sashes, garters and belts. Those well- recognized patterns inspired this similar zigzag rug style with vibrant colors. All of the rugs may be viewed at and ordered online. A percentage of proceeds go to FONE/New Echota.

PLEASE REVIEW THE MINUTES FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING. It was decided that we will henceforth publish the minutes in the newsletter in lieu of reading them at our meetings.


WELCOME & PROGRAM: FONE President Carmen Shuler welcomed members and guests. FONE Vice President (VP) Linda Fletcher introduced guest speaker, Tammera Hicks and her companion Jimmy Yellow Horse Webster, her associates through Friends of Red Clay. Tammera Hicks described her personal genealogy journey which connects her family to the Hicks who resided at the New Echota Capital. One of the original New Echota family homes, the Hicks’ home is described on site signage and in the Cherokee Capital‘s history. She explained how genealogy research includes more than birth certificates but also military records, property deeds, burial records/sites and newspapers of the period. She founded a non-profit to promote Native American history and cultures. Presently, she is involved in support of an inter-tribal pow-wow held at Red Clay. Jimmy joined Tammera in a musical presentation, he on flute and she sang verses of Amazing Grace in English and Cherokee. An appreciation gift was presented. All were encouraged to remain after the break for the general meeting. GENERAL MEETING: Shuler explained that FONE is a chapter of Friends of Georgia’s Parks and Historic Sites. FONE is a non-political not-for-profit organization. Volunteers support site staff in preservation efforts, public awareness and special events. State Friends recently provided a Legacy tent for use at events and volunteer tee shirts. There is a place at New Echota for every type of volunteer. Volunteer Wade Hampton is cleaning and painting several site and State Historical Marker signs. Volunteers are needed for school field trips. A new volunteer is working to restore site signs. These matters were discussed: 1. Approval of April & July 2012 Minutes - Donna Myers presented a motion to accept both minutes as published, John Rice seconded and the majority of FONE voted by voice to approve. 2. Friends Grant Report Treasurer submitted budget data and report draft received from former FONE President Myers. The report is now in Shuler’s hands for completion. The new grant should include plans for 175th anniversary of Trail of Tears, which began at New Echota’s Fort Wool on May 26, 1838. Neither dates nor budget have been set. Discussions have begun with the GA Trail of Tears Association (TOTA) and the Ring Gold I-75 South Visitor Information Center (VIC) wherein a display is planned. On the first weekend in June the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Trail of Tears (TOT) Cyclist have an annual overnight at the site, some commemoration would seem appropriate. Echota Days annual event will also be included in the Friends grant application. 3. Financial Report FONE FY12 Annual Report is pending. Shuler confirmed that Secretary Jennifer Greeson was added to the BBT account and VP Fletcher will also be added. Treasurer Clare Lewis had provided a spread sheet of Peach Orchard donors recognized in the Fall 2012 newsletter ($5,920 +$100 Gordon Co. Saddle Club and pending pledge from Floyd Master Gardeners); therefore, original goal exceeded. Site Manager Gomez requested that solicitation for peach orchard donations cease and donors be directed to the commemoration of the 175th TOT anniversary. All non-monetary donations must be reported to the Treasurer in writing, with value assigned by donor, to document grant match requirements. In that volunteer hours result in monetary gain to the chapter, Shuler apologized for past failure of FONE to officially submit volunteer logs in a timely and responsible manner. VP Fletcher has assumed logs management for FY 2013, and for FY 2012 as necessary. 4. Recent Site Events since the last general meeting: 7/28 Genealogy Workshop with Leslie Thomas; 9/12 Plans for 175th with GA DEPT Economic Development Division of Tourism; 9/29 Your Park Day (rainy day free admission for 60 and 10 volunteers); 10/10/12 Calhoun City Schools annual 4th grade field trip (278 visitors and 25+ volunteers); 10/20/12 Frontier Day (approximately 275 - 300 visitors and 56 volunteers); 10/22/12 Spirit Night ( 10 volunteers). 5. Outreach and Membership Drive/Fundraising w/FONE Tent Rome Running Water Pow Wow (Fletcher, Daniels, Baker, Shuler) and Dalton Prater’s Mill (Fletcher & Baker); Presentations - Floyd Master Gardeners (Shuler), Gordon County Historical Society (Shuler), Gordon County Saddle Club (Myers); Media - site featured in “Georgia Unforgettable” new book of Fair County Press; FONE ad in Calhoun Magazine 10th Anniversary Calhoun City Schools special edition; Newsletter (fall issue out thanks to Myra Reidy and Newsletter Committee); Media/Face Book - Ken Chapman & Shuler administrators; New Echota Themed Rug Project underway; 6.Upcoming Events– 11/27 Tuesday @ 10 am Decorate the Council House; SAT Dec 1st Christmas Candlelight Tour starts 6:30 (volunteers needed Friday 1 - 4 pm to prepare luminary bags, etc.; volunteers arrive Saturday as early as 3:30 pm -5:00pm); The peach trees planting in winter will call for volunteers. Friends Conference will be held in Jekyll Island Feb. 22-24, 2013. 7. Next General Meeting, Thursday January 24, 2013 @ 6:30 pm. Nominations Committee (Linda Baker/Chair, Don Nix and Linda Ann Daniel) will present slate of officer and board nominees for April elections and new term begins July. January program to be announced - perhaps focus on planning for commemoration of 175th anniversary of Trail of Tears. 10/25/12 meeting attendance: 25 persons Minutes respectfully submitted by: Carmen Shuler and Linda Fletcher - October 27, 2012 Edits from David Gomez processed 12/5/12

VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT: Wade Hampton enjoyed golf but found it just wasn’t fulfilling all his retirement dreams (and he was getting in his wife‘s way). How did Wade’s lifetime interest in art and painting and his new volunteer role at New Echota come together? Mr. and Mrs. Hampton attended the July 2012 FONE meeting to learn about GA DOT Hwy 225 renovation plans. Then he came to the site and talked with Site Manager David Gomez about volunteering. Craftsman Ron Shepherd recognized a self-motivated volunteer and setup a sign repair station in the Maintenance Shop. Wade sets his own schedule and comes in one to three mornings a week to renovate and repaint historical roadside markers. He plans to refurbish/repaint all the Gordon County Historic Markers under New Echota's care, which also includes the Resaca Battlefield. He built frames for holding the signs for painting and for holding brushes for cleaning. This is just one example of FONE helping volunteers find opportunities to match their own interests and skills. Thanks

Wade - glad you found us!

A New Year at New Echota.....

A New Year at New Echota brings a new face to the staff! Welcome Richard (Rich) Boldon. Rich joined the Parks Region One Staff as a ‘Roving’ Interpretive Ranger and will be working with four different parks. He will be splitting his time between Vogel State Park, Fort Mountain State Park, Chief Vann House State Historic Site and here at New Echota-Cherokee Capital State Historic Site.

Rich retired from teaching in Ohio and currently lives in Ellijay. He visited New Echota during our Candlelight Program and again in mid- December already and will be getting to know the sites and history better this winter in preparation for our upcoming spring season and school field trips. Most of his time at the parks and sites will be focused on programming. We look forward to having him help with our school field trips and special events.

The frequency of when he will be working here is not yet set in stone, but preliminary plans are for him to spend each Thursday and/or Friday here at New Echota to assist during our busiest traffic and field trip days of the spring and fall. He is eager to learn as much from us as he can between now and March when our spring season usually kicks off. I encourage everyone to stop by and meet Rich and also encourage and challenge FONE members to a New Year’s Resolution of getting involved with helping him give guided tours of the historic buildings. This has long been our biggest need at New Echota, and I’m looking forward to having someone here to help our site in this area.

Best Wishes, Ranger David

2013 VOLUNTEER NEEDED: A) Webmaster - light workload - can be done offsite - requires prior internet skills; B) On an ongoing basis, volunteers are needed to serve as interpreters to support our DNR site staff in serving visitors and school field trips; C) 2013 Events: May 18th - Memorial Service, October 19th - Echota Day, December 7th

Christmas Candlelight Tour.

BE A FRIEND: Please join or renew your Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites membership with New Echota as your site preference ( OR 888-948-2092). Membership gives a twelve-month Park Pass for all Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites, free

camping/golf option, and other benefits.

We value our volunteers!

Friends of New Echota State Historic Site (FONE) was formed to assist the site staff to carry out the mission and to reach the goals of the Georgia State Parks, Recreation and Historic Sites (PRHS) Division of the Department of Natural Resources.

FONE will assist the park site manager with planning, organizing, and implementing special events. FONE will also promote public awareness and public support of and involvement in New Echota State Historic Site.

If you would like more information about volunteering at New Echota, talk to us at our quarterly meeting, contact us at or call 706-624-1321.

Friends of New Echota Historic Site (FONE)

1211 Chatsworth Hwy NE Calhoun, GA 30701

(706) 624-1321



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P O Box 643

Resaca, GA. 30735-0643

FONE Officers
Carmen E. Shuler, President Linda Fletcher, Vice President Jennifer Greeson, Secretary and Acting Treasurer

Board of Directors Jennifer Andrews Dennis Alexander Beth Grubbs Linda Baker

Tom Lanford
Shirley Brown
Don Nix
Ken Chapman Kathryn Sproull
Linda Ann Daniel Betty Ann Surdykowski