My name is Lamar Marshall and I live in the Cowee Mountains of Western North Carolina just south of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Wild South began its cultural heritage work decades ago down in Alabama working to save important historical sites on public lands. Eventually, we worked with the Alabama Chapter of the Trail of Tears and the National Park Service to map the 1838 Cherokee Trail of Tears route from Fort Payne to where it exited Alabama into Tennessee.
About eight years ago, we began working with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to map their historical trails across the Southeast. During this time we have collected about 80,000 records and maps documenting the history of the Eastern Band. I have divided the work into four categories which are all connected: history, geography, ecology and historic lifestyle. What makes much of my research different is that I have been able to glean much new, unpublished history and geography from many rare archives and early surveys.
Beginning September 1, 2015, our cultural heritage team will be uploading Cherokee history, historical maps, archives, Google Earth tours, reconstructed maps, and a blog all built around this work. We will provide graphics and simplified educational tools that can be used by teachers to fill in the black hole of missing Native American history and in order to revise historical inaccuracy.