A Memorial To His Great Great Grandmother
In the late 1830's, a young teenage Yuchi girl was living near the Singing (Tennessee) River. Unfortunately, this was also during the Trail of Tears, a dark time in American history when Native Americans were forcibly removed from the Eastern portion of the United States and moved west. This young girl, along with her sister, were discovered by Army personnel and forced to walk to Oklahoma. She listened for singing waters in her new surroundings and found none. Convinced she would die if she stayed, she escaped and spent five years walking back to Alabama. The journey was extremely difficult with many trials and tribulations along the way, however she returned to her singing river.
In the 1980's, Tom Hendrix, her great great grandson, visited the Yuchi people and had her journals translated. He had heard her stories many times and after the trip vowed to honor the great Native American woman. A wall of stones was going to be the memorial and over 30 years later, the monument is truly something to behold. It is the largest un-mortared rock wall in the United States and the largest memorial to a Native American woman. Each stone represents one step of her journey. Also, the shape, height, and width of the wall changes to represent the various obstacles she encountered. There are stones from over 120 countries that come in every size, shape, texture and unique geologic features you can imagine.
A trip to Tom's Wall is emotional, inspiring and you will leave touched by the dedication of one man to honor his ancestors.