Vonore Historical Society Homepage
Places to Visit in Vonore


The Vonore Library, under the direction of librarian, Margaret McKee, has become one of the more progressive libraries in the county. Besides offering an excellent selection of fiction, nonfiction, and reference materials, the library has one of the best technical library sections in the area. Audio books and videotapes are available. The library is home to the genealogical books and material provided by the Vonore Historical Society and is probably the best source for genealogical and historical materials in the area. The library also houses the Fort Loudoun papers and the Nobe Peace papers, which are of enormous interest to historians. Computerized printouts of family genealogies can be found at the library, and books published by the Vonore Historical Society can be purchased or reviewed at the library. A pictorial collection provides a glimpse of persons and places of bygone days as well as pictorial documentation of present day events and persons. Persons wishing to donate photographs to this collection are invited to do so by bringing your photo or negative to the library for copying. The original submitted photo or negative could be returned after copying if so desired.


The museum is located on Church Street across from the City Hall and the Vonore Library. Personal items and artifacts are on display, which illuminate the way of life of people in the Vonore area in days gone by. Highlights of the museum are a miniature village comprised of houses, barns, buildings, and businesses of a past era. A miniature display of Fort Loudoun is also on display.


Fort Loudoun played a significant role in helping Great Britain secure the trans-Appalachian region from France during the Seven Years War, or as it is known in America, the French and Indian War. Fort Loudoun, named after John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudoun, helped ally the powerful Cherokee Nation to the English cause and block further French penetration of the area from the west. A breakdown in relations between the English and the Cherokee resulted in the siege of the fort by the Cherokee. The fort was surrendered in August of 1760 and on August 10, 1760, a party of 180 men and 60 women and children left the fort enroute to South Carolina. The next morning at sunrise, the Cherokee attacked the garrison's camp, killing all the officers except one, and between 20 and 30 other persons. The remainder was taken as slaves and South Carolina and Virginia eventually ransomed most.

The Visitors' Center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. This spacious center houses the information office, interpretive facility with historic displays and audiovisual room.

A replica of Fort Loudoun as it stood in the period 1756-60 is in process of being reconstructed on the original site. The island offers nature trails and picnicking facilities. The fort and nature trails are open 8:00 a.m. to sunset daily.

For more information contact:

Superintendent's Office
Fort Loudoun State Historic Area
338 Fort Loudoun Road
Vonore, TN 37885
Phone: 423-884-6217


The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates the museum, and it is Tennessee's only Indian-operated historical attraction.

Sequoyah (1776 - 1843) was a father, soldier, silversmith, statesman, and the creator of the Cherokee writing system. Never before, or since, in the history of the world has one man, not literate in any language, perfected a system for reading and writing a language. Sequoyah gave his people a gift that will endure forever. He gave them a writing system so that the greatness of the Cherokee Nation will live forever.

Sequoyah was born in 1776 at the village of Tuskeegee, which was very near where the Museum is today. His father was Nathaniel Gist, a Virginia fur trader. His mother was Wut-the, daughter of a Cherokee chief.

Sequoyah married, had a family, and was a silversmith by trade. He and other Cherokees enlisted on the side of the United States under the command of General Andrew Jackson to fight the British troops and the Creek Indians in the War of 1812. Exposed to the concept of writing early in his life, he never learned the English alphabet. He became interested in the idea of a Cherokee writing system in 1809. During the war, he became convinced of its necessity. Unlike the white soldiers, he and the other Cherokees were not able to write letters home, read military orders, or record events as they occurred. After the war, he began in earnest to create a writing system for the Cherokees, and he began to make the symbols that could form words. The thousands of Cherokee thoughts were reduced to 85 symbols representing sounds. He made a game of this new writing system and taught his little girl Ayoka how to make the symbols.

In 1821, after 12 years working on the new language, he and his daughter introduced his syllabary to the Cherokee people. Within a few months thousands of Cherokees became literate. 1825 had translated much of the Bible and numerous hymns translated into Cherokee. By 1828, they were publishing the "Cherokee Phoenix," the first national bi-lingual newspaper, along with religious pamphlets, educational materials and legal documents. Sequoyah continued to serve the Cherokee people as a statesman and diplomat until his death. The fascinating history of the Cherokees - their family life, customs, beliefs, and the sadness of the Trail of Tears when they were sent to Oklahoma in the 1830s is all told at this Museum.

The Museum is open year round Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There is a nominal admission fee. Group discounts are available.

The Cherokee Arts and Crafts Festival is an annual event and is held every September, the first weekend after Labor Day on the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Grounds. This event offers two days of Indian dances, music, food, and beautiful Native American and Appalachian hand-made crafts and products.

For further information about the Museum or its activities contact:

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
Citico Road
PO Box 69
Vonore, TN 37885
Phone: 423-884-6246


Located at the confluence of Nine Mile Creek and the Little Tennessee River across from Fort Loudoun, the Tellico Blockhouse, built in 1794, marked a significant turning point in the United State-Indian policy. In the period before the Blockhouse and its sister fort at Southwest Point were built, local militia units who made punitive raids deep into the Cherokee Nation in retaliation for Indian raids upon white settlements defended the frontier. What official policy existed was based upon an "eye for an eye." With the creation of the Territory South of the Ohio River in 1790, and under the direction of Secretary of War Henry Knox, the Federal government pursued a policy of civilizing the Indian population.

While the Blockhouse was a military fort, its primary purpose was to protect the Cherokee from continued white advances into the valley. Also, in 1796, the United States Government built a trading post adjacent to the Blockhouse to dispense supplies to the Cherokee. In addition, the Blockhouse complex served as the primary location for the War Department's Indian agent until 1801 in what is today East Tennessee.

The Blockhouse served as the site where several important treaties were negotiated. The first Tellico Treaty signed in October of 1798 required that the Cherokee cede all lands from above the Little Tennessee River to the Clinch River to the National Government. The second treaty, signed in1805, allowed the United States to gain title to all the land that is present-day Middle Tennessee. This treaty also spelled the beginning of the end of the Blockhouse. The 1805 treaty called for the removal of the garrison.

The Blockhouse, part of the Fort Loudoun State Historic Area, may be visited from 8:a.m. to sunset daily.

For further information contact:

Superintendent's Office
Fort Loudoun State Historic Area
338 Fort Loudoun Road
Vonore, TN 37885
Phone: 423-884-6217

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