P.O. Box 1209
Robbinsville, NC 28771-1209
Junaluska was a Cherokee man who is a hero to both Cherokee and other
Americans. He was an honored leader of the Cherokee people, a
distinguished warrior both for the Cherokee and for the U.S. Army, and a
constant friend to the State of North Carolina.
In spite of all this, in 1838, Junaluska and many other Cherokee people
were captured and held in Fort Montgomery, which was right here in present
To make room for white settlers they were forced to march to Oklahoma.
He returned 2 years later and lived out the rest of his life in Cheoah
Valley. He died in 1858 where his grave was marked with a pile of stones.
The Memorial Site
In 1910, The Daughters of the American Revolution sponsored a ceremony
at which the large rock plaque at the center of the gravesite was put in
place of the pile of stones.
In 1997, the Junaluska Memorial Site was constructed. Around the
memorial site a large seven-sided concrete foundation was built with seven
granite monuments placed upon it. There is a monument for each of the
Cherokee clans. Each monument tells about the life and achievements of
The Medicine Trail
A recent addition to the Junaluska Museum is the medicine trail located
next to the memorial. Along the trail are plants and shrubs used by the
Cherokee in the making of traditional medicine. Plants that can be found
on the trail include the Joe Pye Weed, Witch Hazel, Sassafras, Blood Root
and many others. Also on the trail are benches dedicated to deceased
members of the Snowbird Cherokee. The trail runs along the mountain side
of the Junaluska Museum. It is approximately ¼ mile in length and has a
mild to moderate climb.
In 1989 a group of people from the Snowbird Community met together to
form the Junaluska Grave Committee. After much discussion the committee
changed its name to Junaluska's Friends.
The Friends of Junaluska is a volunteer non-profit organization
dedicated to honoring the memory of Junaluska and preserving the heritage
and culture of the Cherokee people for present and future generations.
In 1997, The Friends of Junaluska constructed the large seven-sided
concrete foundation and monuments o the Junaluska Memorial Site.
On October 4th of 2002 the Junaluska Traditional Medicine
Trail was completed and opened to the public.
In the following months The Friends of Junaluska will be working to
expand and improve the Junaluska Memorial Site, Museum, and Traditional
Medicine Trail. We invite you to join this organization and become a part
of Junaluska's Friends.
The Snowbird Community
Near the town of Robbinsville is a small Cherokee Community known as Tu
Ti Yi or Snowbird. Although a part of the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians, they are separated geographically from the Qualla Boundary
The Snowbird Cherokee are descendants of the Cherokee who lived in the
Cheoah Valley or hid in the mountains during the time of the Trail of Tears.
Located near the Junaluska Memorial Site is Tatum
Gap, the route the Cherokee people were forced to travel during the
The first council to meet after the Trail of Tears
was held in Cheoah and took the first steps to reorganizing the
In 1875 the second man elected Principal Chief since
the inauguration of the Cherokee Constitution was a Snowbird Cherokee,
Lloyd R. Welch.
The modern day Snowbirds are said to be one of the
more traditional Cherokee Communities. A large percentage still retain the
use of the Cherokee language and customs of their ancestors.