Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Trail of Tears Interpretive Center

Marker ID:  
Location: on Stadium Street near East College Street (U.S. 64), Pulaski, TN
County: Giles
Coordinates: N 35° 11.739    W 087° 1.796
  35.19565    -87.02993333
Waymark: None


The Trail of Tears Interpretive Center Popularly known as the Rock Church, this beautiful chapel of Gothic architectural design was constructed by native limestone and was dedicated as the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on August 10, 1941. A significant financial contribution toward the construction of the church was made by Mrs. Ethel V. Mars and her daughter Mrs. Allan Feeney. The donation was made in memory of Mr. Frank Mars, founder of the Mars Candy Company and owner of Milky Way Farms.

The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was located at 416 South First Street and was the center of worship for the Catholic congregation until July 10, 1984 when the building was sold to the adjacent First Baptist Church. The building was renamed Mars Chapel and was used by the First Baptist Church as a wedding chapel and youth activity center.

In 2002 the congregation of First Baptist Church donated the building to the Trail of Tears Memorial Committee with the stipulation that the building be relocated. The Trail of Tears Association then announced plans to utilize the rock church building as a Trail of Tears Interpretive Center and dedicate it to the Native Americans moved from their land by the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Community activists raised the necessary funds for relocating the building and on October 31, 2002 the entire 300 ton structure was placed on a 122-wheel trailer and moved three blocks to its present location.


More information:
Wikipedia: Trail of Tears