Traveling Trail of Tears to Trek Through the Twin Lakes
1838, about 1,200 Cherokee Indians traveled through the Twin Lakes
Area on the Benge Route of the Trail of Tears, according to Mountain
Home historian Bill Woodiel. Next week, he and two other Arkansans
will be traveling the same trail through Baxter County in order
to raise awareness of the Indians' forced relocation and to collect
photographs for an art exhibit that will be seen in museums throughout
Huntsville artist Pat Musick and her husband, Gerald P. Carr, a
former astronaut, began the trek March 4th in Randolph County. They
are now on the Batesville portion of the trail and will follow Old
Military Road into Baxter County, entering at Pineville.
an idea from environmental sculptor Andy Goldworthy, who took a
sculpture along a sheep-drover trail in Scotland, Musick decided
to take one of her sculptures along the Trail of Tears.
sculpture, "Yokes on the Trail of Tears," is made of five
parts, graduated in heights up to 5 1/2 feet. It is made of steel,
stone and wood. Along the way, the group plans to make more
than 20 stops, assembling and disassembling the monument.
a retired Marine Corps colonel, was commander of Skylab 4 launched
in 1973. He will photograph the trip using the same type of camera,
a Hasselblad, that he used during his trips into space.
and Musick plan to use 20 large-scale photographs, 40 smaller photos,
the sculpture and text panels in the exhibit. Several museums have
expressed interest, including a museum at the University of Arkansas
at Fayetteville, the Old Statehouse in Little Rock and the museum
at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
exhibit is to open May 28 and run through July 16 at the University
of Arkansas Museum, the originator and sponsor of the exhibit.
has been working to have the Benge Route made a part of the National
Parks Trail Systems.
said the Cherokee group that traveled under the leadership of John
Benge entered Baxter County at the Herron Whitfield farm at Pineville.
Woodiel believes they crossed the North Fork of the White River
at a spot near the Norfork Dam.
there, the route goes up Highway 5 through Briarcliff to where Austin's
One-Stop is now and continues on Old Military Road, coming out where
Gassville is now.
route then goes through Cotter along the old military road that
went through a field across from the city water tower. Woodiel believes
most of the group crossed White River at the shoals now known as
Denton's Ferry, with a few who had money going up to be taken across
at Talbot's Ferry that was about where Mooney's Landing would've
show the group camped just across the river from what is now Denton's
Ferry. Woodiel believes Benge took the group along Fallen Ash Creek,
crossed what is now Highway 412 past Yellville and went back down
the hill toward Crooked Creek, rejoining the military road there.
there, they continued across the central part of Marion County through
Eros, then to Everton, maybe Valley Springs and then across south
of where Harrison is today and through Carrollton.
thinks the group then went through Farmington and joined the primary
Trail of Tears route in Oklahoma.
Musick and Carr plan to be in Baxter County Monday through Thursday.