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Annual Trail of Tears ride returns Sept. 18 

By Martha Jackson

The Indian Removal Act of 1830 called for the voluntary or forcible removal of all Native Americans from the eastern United States to the state of Oklahoma. May 1838 marked the deadline for voluntary removal. 

So began the Cherokee “Trail of Tears,” one of the darkest episodes in relations between the United States and Native Americans. As many as 4,000 deaths occurred because of this forced removal of civilized Native Americans from their rightful homes.  

In the end, members of the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole nations suffered the same fate as the Cherokees.  

Motorcyclists from across the Southeast will come together Sept. 18 for a scenic ride across north Alabama to honor Native American Indians. 

This is the 28th year for the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride, in which participants will travel from Bridgeport in the northeastern part of Alabama to the northwestern town of Waterloo. Along with the memorial ride, there is a kick off rally in Bridgeport Sept. 17 and a three-day festival in Waterloo for the public to take part in. 

You are invited to join those participating in the annual ride, held each year to honor those from the past who traveled the Trail of Tears. Participants will ride the Drane/Hood Overland Route – the official route recognized by the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission as “dedicated to following the historical route to Waterloo, Alabama.” 

If you wish to participate, you ride at your own risk. There is no registration and there are no fees to ride. Riders may join the ride at any of the stops.  

It’s more than just a ride; it’s a experience. 

The Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride begins at the Alabama/Tennessee state line, off U.S. Highway 72 in downtown Bridgeport, with bikers departing at 8 a.m. Sept. 18.  

Bikers will travel U.S. Highway 72 West to I-565 West, arriving at Redstone Harley-Davidson at approximately 10:30 a.m. for an official rest and lunch stop. The public is invited to welcome bikers while enjoying lunch and special entertainment.  

At noon the riders will depart and head west through Florence, arriving in Waterloo at approximately 2:30 p.m. 

The ride is held rain or shine. For more information, including a map of the route and a schedule of events, visit or like the Facebook page. 

Summerford Nursing Home Activities 

Some of the activities enjoyed at Summerford Nursing Home this month included bingo on Fridays and a movie and football on TV on Saturdays.  

Sept. 13 the Resident Council held its meeting.  

Some of the other activities planned for this month include a “remember when” discussion, with the residents sharing memories with each other; a Sing Along scheduled for Sept. 23; and, to cap off the month Sept. 28, a luau outside.  

The residents also enjoyed a “name that tune” game Sept. 14, with prizes being awarded. 

Hartselle City Hall Meeting 

Sept. 2 Hartselle City Hall hosted the first Thursday dinner meeting of the Morgan County mayors, commissioners and town clerks. Members enjoyed a meal catered by the Freight House Restaurant in Hartselle.  

Falkville town clerk Dawn Estes reported an interesting and productive meeting for county planning. Hartselle Mayor Randy Garrison was the emcee for the event.