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Honoring the Past

Building Mantle Rock Solar is a powerful way to pay tribute to the history and resilience of the Cherokee people while also embracing a sustainable future. The Mantle Rock site is located x miles from the project area. This project not only recognizes the historical significance of Mantle Rock as a sanctuary for the Cherokee during their forced removal but also signifies a commitment to healing and progress.

 

Mantle Rock Solar would not only provide clean and renewable energy but would also serve as a symbol of hope and transformation. The Cherokee's journey along the Trail of Tears was marked by immense suffering, and by harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity, we are transforming that legacy of hardship into a beacon of light and progress.

This endeavor acknowledges the importance of preserving the cultural heritage and historical significance of Mantle Rock. At the same time, it reflects our collective responsibility to address climate change and protect our environment. By marrying the past with the future in this way, we can ensure that the memory of the Trail of Tears and the spirit of resilience embodied by the Cherokee endure for generations to come.

 

In building Mantle Rock Solar, Enerfin hopes to honor the past and commit to a more sustainable and inclusive future that respects both our history and the environment.

History of Mantle Rock

Located just a few miles away from the project site is Mantle Rock, the largest freestanding arch east of the Mississippi River. The arch is 188 feet long and 30 feet high. Many of the plants found in its shadows are not known to grow anywhere else in Kentucky. This beautiful natural bridge is also tied to the Cherokee, an indigenous people from the Southeast of the United States. 

In the 1830s, the U.S. government passed the Indian Removal Act, which authorized the removal of several Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, from their homelands to lands west of the Mississippi River. The Cherokee Nation, known for their agricultural and societal achievements, faced immense hardship during this forced migration, later to be known as the Trail of Tears. 

 

Not yet halfway to their intended destination in Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma), the Cherokee were forced to stop and camp for two weeks until it was safe enough to cross the icy Ohio River. Ten thousand Cherokee passed through the Mantle Rock area that strenuous winter of 1838-1839. Many lived in temporary camps that stretched from miles along the road. It is impossible to know how many Cherokee saw Mantle Rock, but its caverns and overhangs may have provided some protection from the elements.

 

The Trail of Tears was marked by harsh winter conditions, disease, and lack of provisions. Thousands of Cherokee perished during the journey. By March 1839, the surviving Cherokees resettled in what is now Oklahoma.

 

Despite the immense suffering, the Cherokee Nation managed to rebuild their community in their new homeland. Today, they are one of the largest and most prominent Native American tribes in the United States, with a sovereign government and a resilient cultural identity. Mantle Rock in Kentucky remains a poignant symbol of the Cherokee's strength and endurance during the Trail of Tears, underscoring the importance of acknowledging and reconciling the history of Native American communities in the United States. 

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