Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Chief John Ross House and park is now open for the summertime and representatives invite the public to enjoy and learn about Rossville’s historic treasure.
The house and park will be open Thursday through Saturday, June-August from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The 215-year-old home originally sat angled facing Highway 27, but as businesses grew on Chickamauga Avenue the house became blocked in. A group of distinguished citizens saved the house by raising private donations and moved it 100 yards back to its current location at 200 E. Lake Ave.
The group of citizens formed the Chief John Ross House Association in 1957 with a goal to preserve the historic home. Jackie Atkins, who serves as the association board of director’s secretary, is a direct descendant of John Ross.
“It’s been an honor to give back to the community and my native Cherokee heritage,” Atkins said. “I’ve always felt the house was a part of me, and many feel the same way.”
The association gives private tours and welcomes school tours to learn about the history and preservation of the house. There is no charge for the tours, but gifts or donations are accepted which Atkins said aid in the historic preservation of the house.
The two-story log house has original materials down to the detail, with plank flooring and rock chimneys which were assembled with wooden pegs. Inside, there are rooms filled with period pieces, such as a hand-carved early 1800s bed, weaving looms laced with original yarn and authentic photographs of Chief Ross along with many others.
The association is working to designate the Poplar Springs beside the house as a natural wildlife area. The spring-fed pond is home to blue herons, large carp and mallards.
“John Ross tried to save an entire nation of Cherokee people and prevent the Trail of Tears. We’re still here to preserve that passion and history for future generations,” Atkins said.
For private tours or volunteering opportunities call Atkins at 423-400-7400 or Chief John Ross House Association president Larry Rose at 706-866-5171.