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by Mark Cheffey
The Potawatomi Trail of Death Caravan, that included more than 30 people, came through Palmyra Thursday, visiting local sites along the trail.
Members of the Heritage Seekers, Palmyra’s historical society, welcomed the travelers at Big Spring Park, where the they were treated to homemade cinnamon rolls and coffee.
The volunteer caravan, made up Potawatomi, historians and interested persons, numbering more than 30, were tracing the 1838 Potawatomi Trail of Death Sept. 18-23.
The 660-mile trip is a memorial to the 840 plus Potawatomi who were forcibly removed from Indiana and sent to Kansas.
It is recorded that 41 people died, mostly children and the elderly.
“We keep the history alive, and its a way to relate to people,” said George Godfrey, president of the caravan’s association.
The caravan began at the Menominee Statue, in Twin Lakes, Ind., Sept. 18 and was to end at Sugar Creek in rural Linn County, Kan., south of Mound City, Sept. 23.
The area is now the St. Philippine Duchesne Memorial Park where a mission was established for the Potawatomi.
The caravan’s first stop locally was just north of Palmyra to visit the historic marker at Pleasant Spring where the Potawatomi encamped in 1838.
During the stop at Big Spring Park, Godfrey presented Betsy Welty, representing the Heritage Seekers, a copy of the hard-back photography book, Dancing For Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millenium, by Sharon Hoongstraten.