The Deerskin Trade: The Role of the Tennessee River and Regional Impacts

Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park invites the public to participate in a 1-hour program at Moccasin Bend National Archeological District on Saturday, February 20 at 2 pm that will focus on the deerskin trade in the Chattanooga area.  Parking for the program will be at the Gateway Site off Hamm Road (10 Hamm Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405).  “Special Event” signs will also be placed along Manufacturers and Hamm roads to help guide visitors to event parking.

Long before mountain men roamed the Rocky Mountains in search of fur, a thriving trade dominated the Southeast woodlands. However, this trade did not focus on “fur” but on “skin,” deerskin to be exact. Deer were plentiful in the southeast and early European settlers soon realized there was a need for the skins across the Atlantic. American Indians were good hunters and the deerskin was a means of trade with Europeans. Regionally, the Tennessee River played a vital role in this lucrative trade.  However, the impact of the trade on the environment and on the indigenous populations changed the area dramatically and was a precursor to generations of darkness in this new land.

As a reminder, comfortable, supportive footwear, portable chairs, appropriate clothing for the weather, and water are recommended for this program.

For more information about programs at Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, contact the Chickamauga Battlefield Visitor Center at (706) 866-9241 or visit the National Military Park’s website atwww.nps.gov/chch. Or contact Michael Wurzel at the Friends of Moccasin Bend office at 423-322-5014 or visit the FOMB website atwww.moccasinbendpark.org.

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