Location: Vonore, Tennessee
General Description: Chota was the largest of the Cherokee villages in eastern branch of the Cherokee Nation with around 300 inhabitants in the mid-1700s. In 1730 some accounts state that Chota became the “Capital” of the Cherokee Nation although this was difficult to determine because the Cherokee Nation cultural structure did not recognize this social structure. Chota was destroyed during the Revolutionary War in 1780 and rebuilt in 1784. The site of the memorial is original site of the Chota council house and is representative of that structure. The rest of Chota and most of the other locations of Cherokee villages are now under Tellico Lake.
1) The Chota Memorial is about a half mile easy hike along a small peninsula of Tellico Lake which means there is water to either side along much of the hike. Since it is fairly swampy, the area was full of mosquitoes. Even though the day was almost cold and rainy the mosquitoes were a menace. We certainly wish we would have used the insect repellent before making the hike out to the memorial.
2) The Memorial itself is just a set of stone pillars marking out the location of the council house, each pillar named for one of the Cherokee societies. There is not really much to see, but the journey finding it was worthwhile.