Trail of Tears Water Route Markers
Two markers, "Helena and the Trail of Tears" and "They Passed this Way," commemorate the grueling Water Route to Indian Territory. This was one of several routes to forcibly remove Native Americans from their ancestral lands in the southeast for new homes in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Founded in 1820, Helena was a bustling port by the time the removal detachments passed by while traveling the Mississippi River to reach the Arkansas River, and ultimately Indian Territory. Thousands died during the ordeal, due to the hardships of the forced relocation.