Potawatomi Trail of Death Association Newsletter
Fulton County Historical Society, Inc.
37 E. 375 N., Rochester, IN 46975
Telephone 574-223-4436  Museum open Monday - Saturday from 9 to 5, closed holidays
Museum e-mail:    Editor’s E-mail:
FCHS web site: www.fultoncountyhistory.org
Potawatomi Trail of Death Assn. web site: www.potawatomi-tda.org

PresidentGeorge Godfrey, Athens, Illinois
Vice President   Sister Virginia Pearl, Great Bend, Kansas
SecretaryDolores Grizzell, Winamac, Indiana
TreasurerShirley Willard, Rochester, Indiana
EditorSusan Campbell, Kalaheo, Hawaii
Board memberDon Perrot, Waupun, Wisconsin
Board memberDon Riddle, Brunswick, Missouri

EDITORIAL POLICY - Neither FCHS nor the Editor assumes responsibility for errors or opinions on part of contributors.

EXCHANGE - Free copies of this publication are exchanged with all similar groups upon request and receipt of published material from that organization.

TETZLAFF REFERENCE ROOM - The Fulton County Museum has a Reference Room for historical & genealogical research. A section has much material on American Indians, including tribal newspapers and newsletters from related groups. There is a special collection on Potawatomi bands & several files about individual Potawatomi families who have been honored at the Trail of Courage Living History Festival.

TRAIL OF DEATH ARCHIVES - The Fulton County Museum, Rochester, Indiana, is the official repository of pictures, news, and locations of Trail of Death historical markers and sponsors. If a marker is missing or needs attention, please notify us.

TRAIL OF DEATH REGIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL - There are now 78 historical markers to memorialize the forced removal of the Potawatomi from north central Indiana to eastern Kansas in 1838. It was declared a Regional Historic Trail by resolutions passed by the four state legislatures. The 660 mile route is marked with plaques on boulders and other signs for each camp site every 15 to 20 miles, all of which were erected by volunteers with donations, at no expense to the taxpayers. Only the Chief Menominee statue was paid for with state funds, being the only Indian statue ever paid for by the Indiana State Legislature in 1909. Indiana has 21 Trail of Death historical markers, Illinois has 24, Missouri has 23, and Kansas has 10.

PTDA WEB SITE - See pictures of all 78 Trail of Death historical markers, names of sponsors, GPS locations, driving directions, quotes from the 1838 diary, plus side trips to museums. Also history of the Battle of Tippecanoe 1811, Harrison’s Trail, Father Benjamin Petit, St. Philippine Duchesne, and more. If you see errors or have additional material or pictures, please send them to the above address or scan them and email them to Museums on the Trail of Death are invited to submit material and pictures to be included in this web site. Or send your web site URL address to be added to Links.

MUSEUM EXHIBITS - Museums on the Trail of Death are encouraged to set up a permanent display or exhibit of the Trail of Death. Please send or email a picture of your Trail of Death exhibit to be put on the PTDA web site. Free materials will be supplied to you that can be copied to give to the public.

TRAIL OF COURAGE LIVING HISTORY FESTIVAL - always the third weekend of September. This event was founded in 1976 to honor the Potawatomi and show life in frontier Indiana before the terrible forced removal of 1838. Each year we honor a different Potawatomi family that had ancestors on the Trail of Death or signed treaties here.

TRAIL OF DEATH HIGHWAY SIGNS - our current project is to get highway signs erected that will point out the route taken in 1838 and help the public find the Trail of Death historical markers. David Anderson, an artist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, designed the logo. The first highway signs were Fulton County, Indiana, and were sponsored by the Manitou Chapter of the National Daughters of the American Revolution. More are being added each year.

A SPIRITUAL TRAIL - The Trail of Death is a spiritual trail and those who travel it today are motivated by a sense of history and of concern for the American Indians who suffered in 1838, and all the Indian removals. The Cherokee Trail of Tears took place at the same time in the fall of 1838. Nearly every tribe suffered a forced removal. It is our hope that travelers will take the time to read the historical markers and meditate and say a prayer for peace for all mankind, that we may finally learn not to hurt each other but to treat each other with love and respect.

FCHS Festivals
  • Redbud Trail Rendezvous - Last weekend in April
  • Historical Power Show - Third weekend in June
  • Trail of Courage - Third weekend of September
  • Haunted Woods Trail - Second & Third weekends of October
This page updated Jul 16, 2011.