Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wichahpi Commemorative Stone Wall

For the last 35 years, Alabama resident Tom Hendrix has been building a mile-long monument, in his hometown Florence, to honor his great-great grandmother, a Yuchi Indian who was one of the millions of Native Americans who were forced from their homes in the southeast to the new Indian Territories in Oklahoma following the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Hendrix’s great-great-grandmother, Te-lah-nay, then a 17-year-old girl, walked with her sister along what is now known as the “Trail of Tears” to her new territories in present day Muskogee, Oklahoma. But Te-lah-nay longed to return home, and after spending just one winter in Oklahoma, she began a lonely, five-year-long perilious journey back to her native land — a distance of more than 600 miles.

Tom Hendrix’s monument was built to commemorate Te-lah-nay’s courageous walk back home. The monument consist of two parallel walls made of limestone and sandstone rocks, about four feet high, that meander through his property under a thick canopy of oak and beech trees. It is the largest unmortared wall in the United States.

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