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Fort Towson Military Trail Marker -- Fort Smith AR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 35° 23.090 W 094° 25.267
15S E 370926 N 3916647
Quick Description: A marker along the old Fort Towson OK Military Road, one of the routes for the Choctaw tribe during their removal on what is now known as the Trail of Tears
Location: Arkansas, United States
Date Posted: 1/13/2015 9:08:48 AM
Waymark Code: WMN7KP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 0

Long Description:
The Fort Towson Trail was laid out in the 1820s under President Andrew Jackson's Indian Removal policy to forcibly relocate the Choctaws from their ancestral homelands in Mississippi to the newly-designated Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma).

One part of that tail passed through the frontier town of Fort Smith, then a border town on the US-Cherokee Nation sovereign tribal lands in Indian Territory.

Today this trail markers stands in Fort Smith's Cisterna park downtown, a reminder of the tragedy and brutality of the forced march of the Choctaws through Fort Smith.

Later the Ft Towson road was used for trade and commerce between the US and the Choctaws. Parts of the old military road are preserved in the Choctaw Nation lands in OK, where this trail is more widely known.

From the Visit McCurtain Co OK website: (visit link)

"[A] road cut from Arkansas to Fort Towson in the 1820s which served as one route of the Choctaw Trail of Tears. Cut from Washington, Arkansas, to Fort Towson in 1831 for removal of Choctaws from Mississippi, became known is Choctaw Trail of Tears after thousands of suffering Indians used it to reach new lands. Road served as major east-west artery for Choctaw Nation until early 1900s. Imported early Choctaw settlements on road were Harris Mill, Eagletown, Lukfata. Wheelock and Clear Creek. Segments of road still identifiable and still visible."

From the Travel OK website: (visit link)

[photo of Fort Smith-Fort Towson Trail historic marker:]

'This road extended through the Choctaw Nation, over 130 miles through rugged terrain and raging streams. It was blazed by Col. Robert Bean and constructed by Capt. John Stuart, and used to carry supplies and move troops and emigrants throughout the region. The route crossed the Winding Stair Mtn. at this point.'

"Old Military Road Trail in Talihina runs between six and a half to eight miles, much less than the original 130 mile stint of the original Old Military Road. This trail has a rich history dating back to 1832 when it was constructed to connect Fort Smith, Arkansas, with Fort Towson and used mainly by troops and Choctaw Indians. Whether you are looking to go straight through or double back to the beginning, this intermediate-level hiking trail will make for an interesting hike. Very few signs remain of the people who used to travel along this road, but if you look closely you may see signs of an old wagon road. Be sure to follow the white signs along the trail, which may be tricky as the trail is intersected by the Boardstand Trail, Indian Nations Trail, Talimena Drive and Ouachita Trail."

The trail marker post itself reads as follows:

"Fort Towson -Trail-

First Survey General B.L.E. Bonneville 1827,

Marked by Daughters of the American Revolution 1932"
Road of Trail Name: Fort Towson Trail

State: AR

County: Sebastian

Historical Significance:
Primary route used to forcibly relocate the Choctaw Indians from their ancestral homelands in Mississippi to the newly-designated Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). This road is known as the Choctaw Trail of Tears.


Years in use: 1820s-1890s

How you discovered it:
Saw the marker in Cisterna Park


Book on Wagon Road or Trial:
none that I could find


Website Explination:
http://www.okhistory.org/sites/forttowson


Why?:
Primary route used to forcibly relocate the Choctaw Indians from their ancestral homelands in Mississippi to the newly-designated Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma). This road is known as the Choctaw Trail of Tears.


Directions:
Cisterna park in downtown Fort Smith


Visit Instructions:
To post a log for this Waymark the poster must have a picture of either themselves, GPSr, or mascot. People in the picture with information about the waymark are preferred. If the waymarker can not be in the picture a picture of their GPSr or mascot will qualify. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Pictures must be of high quality (no cell phone pics)
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Benchmark Blasterz visited Fort Towson Military Trail Marker -- Fort Smith AR 1/13/2015 Benchmark Blasterz visited it