Nancy Ward Gravesite
Located on Hwy 411, south of Benton, is the gravesite of Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman of the Overhill Cherokees, and her son Five Killer. The graves overlook the lush banks of the Ocoee River.
A statue of Nancy Ward, created by a purported descendant, stood in a cemetery in Grainger County, Tennessee for about 70 years. It disappeared some time in the early 1980s. In January 2006, the missing statue resurfaced as a significant work of American folk art when it was exhibited at the American Antiques Show held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New Yok City. The statue is currently in the possession of an antiques dealer in Maine. It is widely believed that the sculptor (James Abraham Walker) had originally intended the carving to be placed at Nancy Ward's gravesite.
Nancy Ward is not only remembered as an important figure to the Cherokee people but is also considered an early pioneer for women in American politics as she advocated for a woman's voice during a turbulent period in her tribe's history.
On the day she died in 1822, witnesses saw a white light rise from her body. It took the form of a wolf and then a swan. It fluttered about and then flew off in the direction of her beloved town of Chota. She was the last woman to receive the title of Beloved Woman until the late 20th century.
How to Get There
Located on Highway 411 in Benton.
Time Period Represented