Funk Heritage Center

This AJC article was originally posted two years ago, but it has just been brought to my attention. The Funk is worth a “one tank trip” from Atlanta!

Funk Heritage Center gives up-close look at Native American culture, history

By Jon Waterhouse

The Funk Heritage Center with its large collection of Native American artifacts is housed inside a clay-colored Iroquois-style longhouse. Funk Heritage Center.

First-time visitors at the Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt University in Waleska may feel as surprised as an archaeologist hitting pay dirt.

It’s hidden away in this smidgen of a north Cherokee County town about an hour away of Atlanta. But this concentrated bundle of Southeastern Native American information and artifacts plays like a historical documentary in tangible three dimensions. Guests step inside a clay-colored Iroquois-style longhouse and receive a blast of history and culture primarily focusing on Cherokees and Creeks. They see dioramas of native life and the items these people left behind — pieces of pottery, arrow and spear points, tools and game pieces. Other artifacts from the period when European settlers began trading with the Cherokee are also on display.

Adjacent to the museum is a reproduction of an Appalachian-inspired settlement.

Already Georgia’s official frontier and Southeastern Indian interpretive center, the Funk Heritage Center recently became certified as a National Park Service interpretive center for the Trail of Tears. It’s receiving grants to beef up the presentation and is on the verge of scoring access to a much-lauded collection. The more than 100,000 Cherokee artifacts in the Hickory Log collection, uncovered in the area nearly two decades ago in digs along the Etowah River, will likely call the Funk Heritage Center home.

Read the whole thing.