How to get involved
* For those who would like to volunteer with the archaeological study, contact The Historical Society of Forsyth County at (678) 455-7260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
* The organization is always looking for volunteers and members. Check www.historicforsyth.com for more information.
Somewhere in the far northwestern corner of Forsyth County, military records indicate there was once an Indian removal fort.
Over about three weeks in spring 1838, Cherokee Indians were forcibly removed from their homes and held at the base, known as Fort Campbell, in preparation for the Trail of Tears.
In their research efforts, representatives of the Historical Society of Forsyth County and the Georgia chapter of the Trail of Tears Association think they may have pinpointed the site.
County resident Myra Reidy, a member of both organizations, said research suggests the site stood on what’s now known as the Eagle’s Beak green space property.
Reidy and others hope to soon begin working on an archaeological study of the county-owned site on Old Federal Road near the Etowah River. Relics could determine the fort’s location.
Papers and books on the subject, as well as oral histories and military records indicate the site was somewhere in that area.
About six weeks ago, Reidy said an archaeologist and the president of the Georgia chapter of the Trail of Tears Association toured the property.
"When they saw [it] … they said it looked a lot like the sites of other places they’ve been working on here in the state," she said.
According to its Web site, the Trail of Tears Association formed to support the creation, development and interpretation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
The Georgia chapter has been documenting the trail’s path and major locations for an interpretive driving tour.
A location in Cedartown recently became a certified site, which Reidy and others hope to achieve here.
She got permission Tuesday from the county commission to do the study at Eagle’s Beak.
Experts and volunteers plan to dig small holes and use metal detectors to search for relics such as buttons, horseshoes, bullets or other military items that may have been left behind.
The biggest concern commissioners voiced was what would happen to the property if there was a significant find.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said a major discovery could impede control of the property.
"My expectation would be that this board would be agreeable to that if there is something truly significant out there," Jarrard said.
Doing the study is the first step, Reidy said, adding that the group plans to wrap up the work by the end of September.
"That’s really one of the priorities right now of the Georgia chapter," she said after the meeting. "We want to be able to document the fort removal sites.
"I’m so excited we have one in Forsyth County that we can document."