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David Crockett State Park - Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee Trail of Tears Interpretive Sign

Entrance to David Crockett State Park in Lawrencburg, Tennessee

David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee is named for the Tennessee frontiersman who fought and died at the Alamo in Texas. Born in northeast Tennesse in 1786, Crockett moved to Lawrence County in 1817, where he served as a justice of the peace, a militia colonel, and a state representative. He also built a mill on Shoal Creek, which runs through the park. After the mill was destroyed in a flood in 1821 he moved to West Tennessee and was elected as a U.S. Representative in 1826.

Trail of Tears Interpretive Sign

Statute of David Crockett, Indian Removal Act opponent and hero of the Alamo, on the town square in Lawrencburg

Crockett had served under Andrew Jackson in the Creek War in 1813-1814. Jackson was elected President in 1828, and Crockett supported him politically at first, but Crockett soon broke with Jackson over his administration's Indian policy. In 1830 Crockett was a leading opponent of Jackson's Indian Removal Act, calling it "oppression with a vengeance", which resulted in Crockett's defeat in the next election later that year. Crockett ran again, and won, in 1832 as an Anti-Jacksonian in a newly created district.

Crockett lost his next re-election bid in 1834 as a result of his opposition to Jackson. In November, 1835 he left Tennessee to fight for the Republic of Texas and met his fate defending the Alamo on March 6, 1836.

The ford at Shoal Creek in Lawrencburg, Tennessee, used by the Bell detachment in 1838

The ford at Shoal Creek in Lawrencburg, Tennessee, used by the Bell detachment in 1838

In 1838 a detachment of Cherokees lead by John Bell, traveling west on the Trail of Tears, forded Shoal Creek and passed through the area that later became David Crockett State Park. Several sections of the original road the Cherokee used are still intact and visible in the park.

Trail of Tears intact roadbed at David Crockett State Park, used by the Cherokee in the Bell detachment in 1838

Trail of Tears intact roadbed at David Crockett State Park, used by the Cherokee in the Bell detachment in 1838

The route followed by the Bell detachment runs through the center of Lawrencburg. A memorial walk is held every year to commemorate the Trail of Tears.

Bell's Route Interpretive Sign

Trail of Tears Memorial Walk, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

David Crockett State Park is open every day from 7 am until dark. It has a restaurant, fully furnished cabins, camping, hiking, biking, fishing and many other recreational facilities. The Visitor Center Museum depicts the life and times of Crockett as a pioneer, soldier, politician and industrialist. Currently, none of the museum exhibits, which were developed in the 1970's, discuss Crockett's opposition to the Indian Removal Act or the Trail of Tears, but plans are being made to add an exhibit on this important aspect of the legendary Tennessean's life.

The museum is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

One of the Crockett exhibits in the Vistitor Center

One of the Crockett exhibits in the Vistitor Center Museum

David Crockett Days is an annual event held at the park during the 2nd weekend in August. This living history event celebrates Crockett's birthday and features black powder shooting matches, tomahawks throwing competition, traders, food and more.

David Crockett State Park / Lawrenceburg Photo Gallery


Directions:

The Trail of Tears In Lawrenceburg, Tennessee:

Shoal Creek Ford: The ford is on Old Waynesboro Highway, about a half-mile west of Lawrenceburg on Highway 64, very close to the entrance to David Crockett State Park. A small park called Hope Springs Park overlooks the site. Follow the link below for a Google map and just put your location in the "A" box to get directions. Currently there are no Trail of Tears signs or markers at the site. The Tennessee Trail of Tears Association and the National Park Service is working to get some signs in place in the near future.

Shoal Creek Ford - Google Maps

David Crockett State Park: The park is located at 1400 West Gaines in Lawrenceburg, TN, not far from the Shoal Creek Ford. Follow the link below for a Google map with directions from the the Shoal Creek ford to the Trail of Tears segment.

Iron gate near the Trail of Tears section

The intact section of the Trail of Tears is about 1.3 miles from the entrance to the park. There will be an iron gate on your left (see the photo at left). You can pull off the road next to the gate. The Trail of Tears segment will be visible as a sunken road through the woods on your left.

Tennessee State Parks, the Tennessee Trail of Tears Association, and the National Park Service recently created a hiking trail and marked the route with Trail of Tears National Historic Trail signs.


Trail of Tears Roadbed At David Crockett State Park - Google Maps

David Crockett State Park Map


Driving The Trail of Tears From Interstate 65 To Pulaski and Lawrenceburg:

If you're planning a special trip to visit the Trail of Tears locations in Lawrenceburg, it may make sense for you to visit the Trail of Tears locations in Pulaski as well, since the towns are only about 20 miles apart.

It's possible to drive almost the entire route taken by the Cherokee detachment lead by John Bell from a point near Interstate-65 to Pulaski, Tennesse and then to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. The Benge detachment also followed the same route for a short distance through Pulaski. The first map below gives directions for driving the original Trail of Tears route from I-65 to the Pulaski Trail of Tears Interpretive Center. The second map gives directions from the Pulaski Interpretive Center to the intect Trail of Tears roadbed visible in David Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg. Click the Google Map links below for details.

The Trail of Tears From I-65 To Pulaski, Tennessee - Google Maps

The Trail of Tears From Pulaski To Lawrenceburg, Tennessee - Google Maps


David Crockett State Park Links

David Crockett State Park Web Site

Davy Crockett Birthplace State Park Web Site

A Narrative Of The Life Of David Crockett, Written By Himself - Free Google eBook

Lawrence County Tourism Foundation - Find other interesting attractions and things to do in Lawrence County.


Trail of Tears Links

Trail of Tears Tennessee Map and Guide - National Park Service brochure


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