After visiting “Ivy Green” in Tuscombia, Dan and I drove the short distance to Spring Park.
Here we relaxed and ate our lunch and played some Scrabble at a picnic bench. After we were refreshed, we took a walk through this beautiful park.
The park has many amenities, including walking trails, a natural spring and a man-made waterfall. While walking, we came upon a beautiful, bronze sculpture called, “Sacred Tears.”
According to the plaque near the sculpture,
Tuscombia …played an integral part in the “Trail of Tears” with the Tennessee River route and the overland routes. …
Creek Indians began to pass through Tuscombia on their way west as early as 1827. Generally, the Indians were treated well in Tuscombia. … A Creek chief, Chilly McIntosh described their stay here as: “The citizens of Tuscombia have treated us like brothers, and our helpless women were furnished by the good women of the town with clothing… As long as our nation remains upon this earth, we will recollect Tuscombia.” November 30, 1827Plaque at Spring Park
A second plaque contains text from the artist’s dedication speech.
… The work is 8 feet tall, made of cast bronze, and weighs about one ton. It depicts an Indian woman holding her baby in one arm, while the other hand is resting on the cross of a loved one who has just died while marching along the Trail of Tears…. The baby she is holding represents hope for new life, the future, and the renewal of the spirit. Also, wrapped around her shoulders is a blanket given to her by the good people of Tuscombia. So, in this monument I have tried to combine death, sorrow, struggle, perseverance, and hope for the future. …Plaque at Spring Park
I also found it interesting that at the bottom of the plaque with the dedication speech, it said
This plaque was funded by the motorcyclists who participate in the “Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride” and the Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association.Plaque at Spring Park
I was touched and surprised by the statue. We have seen Trail of Tears commemorative sites when we visited Trail of Tears Missouri State park, the Greenville Recreation Area, and now here at Spring Park in Tuscombia, Alabama.
It is one thing to stand at a spot and read the number of miles the Indians traveled on the Trail of Tears. It is another to travel from state to state, covering hundreds of miles, and to continually see markers identifying a location as being on the Trail of Tears.
Dan and I often enjoy local parks on our travels, but this park had an added bonus. Here, we learned how the people of Tuscombia responded to a horrific event by doing what they could to help the Indians. I am glad to have seen the Sacred Tears sculpture and to have learned this piece of Tuscombia’s history. It gives me hope, and more than that, it is a lesson we can take from history and put into practice in today’s world.