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Chieftains Museum

Many years ago, there was a separate nation existing within the state of Georgia. A nation with its own alphabet, its own government, and its own culture. These were the Cherokee, a people who had learned to adapt to the white man's culture without losing their own. They civilized themselves and through strong leadership created what many thought was an indestructible nation.

One such leader was a man named Major Ridge. He became a powerful force in the Cherokee nation and was second only to Cherokee President, John Ross. He had fought in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814 where he was given the title of Major.
Ridge's home here in Rome, known as Chieftains was built as a log cabin in 1794. Ridge ran a ferry on the Oostanaula River during his time in Rome and a trading post was adjacent to his home in which he was a silent partner.

Major Ridge was very instrumental in the treaties to remove the Cherokees to the West peacefully. When an alternate treaty was signed by Ridge and John Ross, Ridge realized he had signed the death warrant for his people, and moved to Arkansas from Rome.
The house changed hands after Ridge and his family moved from Rome. During the Civil War, Union troops tried to destroy the home but according to an account by the Weekly Constitution in 1989, could not because the logs in the home were so well put up. A Civil War collection now exists in the Chieftains Museum.
In 1928, Chieftains was purchased by the Celanese Corporation and was used as the plant manager's residence for the next 41 years. It was then given to the Rome Junior Service League for use as a museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and is also listed as a National Landmark.
Today, the Chieftains Museum has a bountiful collection of Cherokee Indian history and tells the moving story of how the Cherokee people were removed from their "Enchanted Land".
Chieftains Museum is located on the banks of the Oostanaula River.

Other Web Links Referencing
Chieftains Museum

Chieftains Museum Major Ridge Home
Chieftains Museum: A Cherokee Landmark
Chieftains Museum
Chieftains Museum

 

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