(Hopkinsville, Kentucky-AP) -- Officials say the discovery of a Cherokee sharpening tool near Trail of Tears Commemorative Park in Kentucky underscores the historical significance of the site and the surrounding land.
Peg Hays is a member of the local Trail of Tears Commission. Hays says the sharpening stone was found June 2nd during excavation work in a field adjacent to the park.
She says the discovery heightens public awareness about the site's importance. That could benefit a fund-raising drive to purchase the field and expand the ten-acre park near Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
The park site was a major campground for thousands of Indians, primarily Cherokees forced to leave their East Coast homes and settle in what became Oklahoma during the Trail of Tears march in the early 1800s.