Tanasi Memorial


The monument was erected in 1989 by the Tennessee Historical Commission Foundation and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and serves as a reminder to events dating back to the early 1700's.

Tanasi served as the "Capital of the Cherokee Nation" from 1721 - 1730, and is also the origin of what we now know as the name "Tennessee".

The story, inscribed on the monument, is as follows:

The site of the former town of Tanasi, now underwater, is located about 300 yards west of this marker. Tanasi attained political prominence in 1721 when its civil chief was elected the first "Emperor of the Cherokee Nation". About the same time, the town name was also applied to the river on which it was located. During the mid-18th century, Tanasi became overshadowed and eventually absorbed by the adjacent town of Chota, which was to the immediate North. The first recorded spelling of Tennessee as it is today occurred on Lt. Henry Timberlake's map of 1762. In 1796, the name Tennessee was selected from among several as most appropriate for the Nation's 16th state. Therefore, symbolized by this monument , those who reside in this beautiful state are forever linked to its Cherokee heritage. 

Read more


Latitude: 35.5813842 Longitude: -84.190979 Elevation: 813 ft

Hours Open


Time Period Represented


Seasons Open


ADA Accessibility Notes



The Memorial is not located where the map on this website shows it to be. It is several miles to the East Along Beacon Ferry Road and Jones Bend Rd. I walked the entire length of Carson Road and found only a view of the lake..and sore legs. I don’t know for sure about the coordinates given here but will check and update my comment soon. Thank you for letting us know. We are trying to contact someone to update the listing.

David Oliver, 12/20/2019

Leave a Comment