The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum opened in 1986 as a tribute to Sequoyah and the Native Americans who lived in the Little Tennessee River Valley. The museum is located in a 47.5 acre tract on the shores of Tellico Lake nestled at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains. Owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, the museum is Tennessee's only tribally-owned enterprise.


The museum uses state-of-the-art technology and ancient artifacts to present the fascinating story of the Little Tennessee Valley. Beginning with the arrival of the first inhabitants in east Tennessee, the exhibits retrace 8,000 years of continuous habitation in the valley. During the eighteenth century, the valley was the center of Cherokee political and cultural activity. The Cherokee Towns were filled with activities and commerce, It was in this setting that Sequoyah was born more than 200 years ago. Although he was half white, he was raised solely in Cherokee tradition.

Before leaving the museum, be sure to browse through the gift shop which has an outstanding selection of contemporary Cherokee arts and crafts as well as a variety of books on Cherokee culture and history. Approximately 100 yards west of the museum is the Cherokee Memorial, the final resting place for the remains of the 18th Century Cherokees excavated during archaeological work prior to the inundation of the Tellico Reservoir.