THE ETERNAL FLAME
This fire was kindled with a flame from a Cherokee Council fire that has been burning in Oklahoma since 1838. The original fire was taken to Oklahoma when the Cherokee Nation was removed west over the infamous "Trail of Tears".
In May 1951, four Eastern band of Cherokee Tribal leaders from the Qualla Boundary, North Carolina, retraced that trail of heartbreak and brought live coals from the Oklahoma fire.
The Eternal Flame here at the Mountainside Theatre was kindled from the century old Oklahoma fire on June, 23, 1951.
May this fire burn eternally as a symbol of the strength of the Cherokee People and may it honor those Cherokee who have gone before.