The Polk County TN Homeschool Network to Celebrate its Fourth Year of Connections

August 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Featured, News

By Dr. Dony and Kathryn Donev, Cup & Cross Ministries – Ocoee, TN

The Polk County TN Homeschool Network was established in August of 2018 with the purpose to provide a network to help homeschool families in the Polk County, TN area stay connected.  At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, plans were in place to extend the Network’s reach and launch an e-social platform.  On August 13, 2020 its Facebook site was launch with a consecutive website PolkHomeschool.com in October of 2020.  This coming 2021-2022 school year the Network will celebrate its fourth year of connections.  Thank you to all who are making this community possible.  If you are a homeschool family in the Polk area wishing to connect reach out at www.PolkHomeschool.com.

Historic Trail of Tears Connects Polk Homeschool Families

July 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Events, Featured, Missions, News

Historic Trail of Tears Connects Polk Homeschool Families

by Dony & Kathryn Donev

During the past 10 years Polk County, TN has seen a shift in its demographics with an insurgence of families from New York, Florida, California and even Eastern Europe.  The latter location is perhaps overlooked not officially recorded having the most complex reasoning behind the numbers.  One explanation could be adoptions or perhaps another could be due to immigrants being attracted to Gateway Cities.  Such are the larger towns as Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Sanibel areas of Florida.  In California these would be Cerritos, South Gate, Long Beach or Sacramento.  And of course New York City provides the ultimate gateway. Therefore, these individuals are simply recorded as being from these Gateways.

Many of these families which have sought refuge, so to speak, in rural areas are ones that homeschool.  But this is not the reason for this article; for it is only natural that one leaving a busy urban area would naturally want to get away from all aspects of city life and create a more intimate learning experience for their children. Such is readily available through the natural amenities and safe seclusion along the original Trail of Tears which had many routes and roundup or dispersion points other than the three main roads which are thought of first. One of them just happens to be in Polk County, TN described below.

The Georgia Road or present day Federal Road was a route of the Trail of Tears with the Tellico Blockhouse as its starting point. The route ran from Niles Ferry on the Little Tennessee River near the present day U.S. Highway 411 Bridge, southward into Georgia. The road continued southward via the Federal Trail connecting to the North Old Tellico Highway past the present site of Coltharp School, intersected Tennessee Highway 68 and passed the site of the Nonaberg Church. East of Englewood, Tennessee it continued on the east side of McMinn Central High School and crossed Highway 411 near the railroad overpass. Along the west side of Etowah, the road continued near Cog Hill and the Hiwassee River near the mouth of Conasauga Creek where there was a ferry near the site of the John Hildebrand Mill. From the ferry on the Hiwassee River, the road ran through the site of the present courthouse in Benton, Tennessee. It continued south on Welcome Valley Road and then crossed the Ocoee River at the Hildebrand Landing. From this point, the road continued south and crossed U.S. Highway 64 where the Ocoee Church of God is currently located. Proceeding south near Old Fort, the route crossed U.S. Highway 411 and came to the Conasauga River at McNair Landing. Near the south end of the village of Tennga, Georgia stands a historic marker alongside Highway 411, which states the Old Federal Road was close to its path for the next twenty-five miles southward. This is some 15 miles from the historic Chief Vann Plantation. It would have been at this point in Tennga that the Trail of Tears would have taken a turn onto GA-2 passing the Praters Mill near Dalton Georgia to connect in Chattanooga.

The reason for this article is to make the connection which goes deeper than simply establishing the Hildebrand Crossing route with Welcome Valley and Old Federal roads as the connecting path of one of the last detachments of approximately 1,200 with the original Trail of Tears. A careful reader would quickly discern the obvious geosocial connection between the new homeschool families in the Polk area and the historical Trail of Tears, which was brought to light in a recent discovery in the Polk County TN Homeschool Network. Nearly a dozen of these families, which in the last decade made their journey to rural living in Polk County live nowhere else, but along the historic trail. Coincidence?  Perhaps.  Planned?  Doubtfully so because most were not aware of this information as this route of the Trail is not a popular one and as such has remained virtually enigmatic. Now, we are in a quest for the logic behind such happening as well as to see if there are other Polk Homeschoolers that happen to also live along this route.  If you have any contributing information to this ongoing project, we would love to hear from you.  Visit us at www.PolkHomeschool.com or reach out to admin@cupandcross.com.