On our way back from the Smoky Mountains, we stopped at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park. This fort played a major role in British era colonial time as they fought against French colonists in the Seven Years’ War (an extension of the French and Indian Wars happening in Europe). To help garner cooperation and alliance with the Cherokee tribes in that area, the fort was built as an outpost for trade between the military and the tribe and was also a means of protecting the Cherokee families while some of the warriors were away fighting alongside the British. Initially the relationship between the Cherokee and British was one of mutual respect and cooperation, but in following years tensions would rise between them due to changes in leadership on both sides and eventually the fort would be abandoned.
We started with the visitor center where we watched a short film explaining the history of the fort. This film is well done and important in understanding the perspectives of both the British and the Cherokee people and the role that the fort itself played between them. The pictures and artifacts from that time period that are spread around the visitor center and each helps to tell the story of the fort and the people that lived here.
We walked down the short path to the fort which is situated between two bodies of water. The fort is considered a national historic landmark. We walked through the fort, checking out the different living quarters and communal areas. It was interesting to see that surrounding the fort was barrier of thorn bushes and a depressed area in the ground, almost like what would have been a moat. But outside the fort was the lovely view of the river and the Tennessee hills. It was so interesting to come and learn more about this fort and the part it played in such a turbulent time in history.
If you want to learn more about Fort Loudoun, go to ::tnstateparks.com/parks/fort-loudoun