Women's History Trail

"Walk in Her Steps"


The Women’s History Trail, a project sponsored by the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC), is taking visible steps that will hopefully lead to big strides for women’s history by celebrating the lives of Macon County women, honoring their accomplishments and creating a trail to “walk in her steps.” This project aims to weave together the disparate elements of our history: Cherokee woman, pioneer woman, enslaved woman; those of all levels of society; those of pioneer stock and those more recently arrived, telling their stories through various art mediums/exhibits and markers along a designated path. As visitors travel to each of the sites, we hope they will be able to experience history in a deeper, more personal way giving a greater sense of identity to these women and adding to the beauty and interest of the Town.

» Be sure to visit the Women's History Trail Website!

Women's History Trail Sculpture


Women's History Trail Sculpture Franklin NC


Women’s History Trail (WHT). A project of the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County, WHT is dedicated to discovering and sharing the stories of the county’s remarkable women through public art and a marked trail.

The Women's History Trail grand opening was held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 with 9 historic sites marked in the downtown Franklin NC Area. On July 4, 2019 the second phase of the trail opened adding 5 more sites around Franklin. Free trail guides and maps can be picked up at the Macon County Historical Museum Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10 am until 3pm or at the Franklin Chamber of Commerce weekdays 9am - 5pm. You may also download these resources in pdf format below.


WHT has commissioned nationally renowned figurative sculptor Wesley Wofford to produce a 7-foot-high bronze sculpture of three women whose lives and cultures intersected in the early days of Macon County.


Na-ha Ka-ta-di-he was a member of an illustrious Cherokee family that included her better-known brother, Junaluska, and uncle, Yonaguska. In the early 1900s, she married Gideon Morris, a Baptist minister, and became known by her English name, Rebecca. The Morrises were granted rights to Cherokee land under the Treaty of 1819, but were displaced, resorting to legal proceedings to win compensation. During the proceedings, they sold an enslaved woman, Salley, to the locally prominent Siler family. Salley had a role in raising Timoxena, Jesse’s daughter, born in 1835. Timoxena, though well-educated and from a wealthy family, shouldered the burdens typical of settler women of the period. These women - Rebecca, Salley and Timoxena - came from different cultures, but all were strong, resilient, and caring. Their stories illustrate the triumphs and tragedies that gave rise to our country.


The sculpture will be located near Nikwasi Mound in Franklin. The site is important historically and each of the women had connections to it. The reserve granted to Rebecca and Gideon Morris bordered the Mound tract, consistent with efforts by the Tribe to secure their most sacred places. Later, Jesse Siler owned this property, and the family protected the mound during their ownership. Recently, the Town of Franklin trans- ferred the Mound to the nonprofit Nikwasi Initiative. Together with its partners, Nikwasi is working to enhance and beautify surrounding property as a public plaza that will serve as an inviting gateway to downtown Franklin.


The sculpture, as an outstanding piece of public art, will draw attention on its own. More-over, as a centerpiece for the Mound Plaza, it will vividly amplify the human story tied to the Mound. Other interpretive information at the site will describe the story behind the sculpture, relate additional history of the period, and direct visitors to nearby historical sites. The sculpture and its site will thus serve as a draw for resi- dents desiring to know their town on a deeper level, and as an invitation to visitors to immerse themselves in the region’s rich history. The Sculptor. Wesley Wofford is a nationally recognized artist who lives in nearby Cashiers and is deeply engaged in his community and the region. The details in his work capture the emotions and essence of his figures and place his subjects in historical context. He strives to understand his subjects, and he relates that understand- ing through his art and through compelling explanations of his art.


Although the sculpture itself has been funded through generous donors and fundraising efforts, the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County is still seeking donations to cover final site installation / landscaping costs.

» Download a "Sowing the Seeds of the Future" Donation Form (PDF)


"Roots That Run Deep"

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