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Museums & historical places

The state of Tennessee is rich in history going back to the 18th century colonial days and beyond so if you are visiting the city of Loudon, then you may be interested in finding out more about the historical background of the area. The Loudon County Museum is part of the Carmichael Inn and can be located on Poplar Street. Among the exhibits in the museum – which is dedicated to the region’s development since its early beginnings and the pivotal role it played in the Civil War – are artifacts and photographs of the first settlers and a tour of downtown Loudon as it was then, that gives visitors a unique insight into life there in days gone by. The Carmichael Inn itself is a two story log cabin that has been renovated in great detail to replicate its original condition as a stagecoach inn. This museum has free admission for all visitors and is open daily.

Carmichael-InnFor those who wish to take a step further back in time to find out more about the Native American tribes who where the first inhabitants of the area, then the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, is definitely worth a trip. This was established and is run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and its purpose is to promote understanding and appreciation of the history of the Cherokee people. Among them was a man named Sequoyah who lived from 1776 to 1846 and he himself was responsible for the first Cherokee writing system that enabled thousands of Cherokees in the 18th & early 19th century to became literate. He was born to a Virginian fur trader and the daughter of a Cherokee Chief close to the site where the museum now stands, however like many other Cherokee tribe members he was enlisted to find on the US side against the British army and the Creek Indians when war erupted in 1812. While serving with the army, he realized that unlike the white soldiers most of the Native Americans could not read or write so they could not record events, send letters home or even read military orders so he came up with the concept to bring literacy to his people. This took over twelve years to bring to fruition but by using symbols in place of words, he eventually reduced the thousands of Cherokee thoughts to just 85 pictorial signs to represent sounds. In recognition of his contributions, the Cherokee Nation awarded Sequoyah a silver medal created in his honor and a lifetime literary pension. He continued to serve Cherokee people as a statesman and diplomat until his death.

Located close to this museum, you will find the historical landmark of Fort Loudon which is a present-day reconstruction of the original fort from which the city of Loudon got its name. However while the original fort was built further away from the shores of the Little Tennessee River, its modern day equivalent now sits on the riverbank itself as the nearby Tellico Dam construction threatened to flood the original site so the conservationists in charge of the project moved the reconstruction site closer to the river.

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