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Landmarks in Monroe County, TN

For visitors interested in history,
Monroe County has plenty of places to visit, including a National Historical Landmark!

Fort Loudoun

Photo of Fort Loudoun.

Originally built by the British in the 1750s, what you see today is a modern reconstruction of Fort Loudoun. Artifacts from the original fort are on display in the visitor center. On certain weekends, reenactors bring the fort to life with demonstrations of how the fort was operated, including how 18th century firearms were shot.

Photo of two men in historical clothes at Fort Loudoun.
Photo of a man in historical clothes firing a musket at Fort Loudoun.

Lost Sea

The Lost Sea Adventure is the largest underwater lake in the United States and has been a popular place to visit for over 20,000 years (though that first visitor was a prehistoric jaguar). The cave is open to the public with tours available. Tickets are available to purchase on the website.

Photo of the cave at the Lost Sea.

Chota and Tanasi Memorials

Photo of the Chota Memorial, a gravel field with seven short pillars rising from the ground.
Photo of the Tanasi memorial featuring a hexagon of short walls near a lake.

Chota
ᎢᏣᏘ

Along the shore of Tellico Lake are a pair of memorials to the Cherokee towns of Chota and Tanasi (the namesake of Tennessee). These historic locations were flooded by the TVA during the creation of the lake. The Tanasi memorial is easily accessible on Bacon Ferry Road while the Chota memorial may be a challenge for visitors with disabilities because it can only be reached by a five minute walk on a mostly flat dirt trail.

Tanasi
ᏔᎾᏏ

See this map on how to get to the Tanasi Memorial. To get to the Chota Memorial, drive north on Bacon Ferry Road until you reach the roundabout, then walk down the south facing trail until you reach the memorial.

Cherokee Burial Memorial

Just outside the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is a burial mound which is the final resting place of 191 Cherokee people who lived in Chota and Tanasi in the 17th century and whose original graves were disturbed by the TVA when they flooded the valley. The burial mound includes a map of the region and the insignia of the different clans.

Photo of the Cherokee burial memorial at the Sequpyah Birthplace Museum

Museums

Don't forget to check what days and times a museum is open before planning your trip. If you are dead-set on visiting a place, call ahead of time to make sure they will be open when you plan on visiting so you don't miss a chance to support our local businesses!

Charles Hall Museum
229 Cherohala Skyway

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
576 TN-360

Photo of interior of the Charles Hall Museum with display cases of various historic artifacts.

Established by Charles Hall (who was mayor of Tellico Plains for 31 years), this museum houses over ten thousand artifacts across two buildings. These artifacts range from ancient coins to a 1922 Model T telephone truck.

Photo of interior at Sequoyah Birthplace Museum with printing press in foreground and wax statue of Sequoyah in background.

The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum chronicles the life of Sequoyah, the creator of the Cherokee syllabary which was one of the first writing systems for an indigenous language.

Vonore Heritage Museum
619 Church St

Photo of interior of Vonore Heritage Museum featuring various antiques in display cases.

This museum features a variety of artifacts from the people of Vonore and chronicles daily life through the last 150 years. Ask for a tour from one of the volunteers so you can hear all the family stories of each exhibit.

Sweetwater Heritage Museum
115 W North St

Photo of interior of Sweetwater Heritage Museum with various photos and objects on wall.

Located steps away from Downtown Sweetwater, this museum showcases 150 years of the city's history with exhibits on education, business, agriculture, and local organizations. Ask for a tour so you can hear the stories you can't find anywhere else.

Old Towns

The downtown areas of Madisonville, Sweetwater, and Tellico Plains include numerous historic buildings which bring a charm for those wanting to step back in time as you walk down the street.

Photo of a woman and little girl exiting Donna's Old Town Cafe. An American flag is in the foreground.

Donna's Old Town Cafe (a local Madisonville favorite) opened in 1994 but the building is from sometime before the Civil War. History and a meal!

Photo of the First Presbyterian Church in Sweetwater, a historic red brick church.

The First Presbyterian Church in Sweetwater was built in 1887 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo of the Sweetwater train car, a vintage train car in a park next to railroad tracks.

This vintage train car in Sweetwater has been restored and is now a public indoor sitting area! Outside are plaques with information about the history of the city.

Photo of the Monroe County Courthouse, a historic redbrick building with a clocktower.

Built in 1897, the Monroe County Courthouse houses many local government offices. It too is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Civil War Trail

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