Goodbye & Hello:
Andrews retirement coincides with arrival of new Park Superintendent
Between the Friends of Moccasin Bend and the National Park that the Friends support, 2014 has been a year marked by comings and goings.
Cathy Cook, Park Superintendent since 2011, retired in the spring to travel with her husband aboard their RV. She was succeeded in June by Brad Bennett, the immediate past Superintendent at Andersonville National Historic Site. In the meantime, Shelley Andrews—longtime Executive Director of the Friends of Moccasin Bend—had announced her own retirement, effective on June 20.
Shelley Andrews joined FOMB in late 2003 as its first executive director. She says that it has been a privilege to work with FOMB's visionary board of directors, the chiefs and representatives of several American Indian tribes, local and national government officials, and the staff of Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. "I am particularly proud of our annual Fall Lecture Series and the opening of the Federal Road Trace," commented Andrews. "I'm grateful for the positive response we've received from so many, and cherish the friendships that have evolved for me through my involvement with Moccasin Bend."
In addition to Andersonville, Brad Bennett has had National Park Service experience at Grand Canyon National Park, a series of assignments in Alaska, and the Harper's Ferry, WV, NPS Interpretive Design Center where he worked on planning and development of projects at such diverse places as Manassas National Battlefield, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. He and his wife, Emma-Gray, and their three children (a 17-year old daughter and 16-year old twin sons) have settled in North Georgia.
Replacing Andrews on an interim basis while the Friends conduct a search for a permanent replacement is Kay Parish. Parish is former Executive Director of Friends of the Park, the sister organization to the Friends of Moccasin Bend. Parish is also a Board member of the Friends of Moccasin Bend and chair of its Activities Committee.
Finding the Old Federal Road
High-tech tools and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) mapping is helping the National Park Service identify the old Federal Road on Moccasin Bend. Archaeological consultants and land surveyors have recently identified the corridor through which the Federal Road passed across John Brown’s Reservation to the Browns Ferry crossing. Using GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, the old roadbed has been flagged and cleared in several segments for visitor access, in preparation for the 175th anniversary of the Cherokee Removal and the 150th anniversary of the Battle for Chattanooga. Official opening of the road will take place during the last weekend of October 2013, but ranger-led hikes along the corridor are already taking place. The Federal Road was the route across Moccasin Bend that Cherokees walked during their forced removal from the region in 1838. It was also instrumental in getting supplies through the Cracker Line to Union troops in 1863.