The Rome Area Heritage Foundation (RAHF) recently awarded the Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home with a $1,500 grant to assist in the repainting of the clapboard structure’s north façade. The project was initiated in response to a recommendation made by the National Park Service, in order to better protect the original wood underneath.


The modern-day siding is comprised of wood covered in a 20th-century exterior finish, encapsulating the original 1819 cabin that was once owned by notable Cherokee leader Major Ridge (c 1771-1839).


“The Chieftains Museum not only chronicles the development of Georgia, but the story of Cherokee removal—an important event on the national level and a tragedy in U.S. history,” said Heather Shores, the museum’s executive director. “We are very appreciative of this gift from the Rome Area Heritage Foundation.”


RAHF president Paula Blalock presented Shores with a check at the winter meeting of the foundation’s board of directors.


“It’s one of the most historical artifacts that we have in Rome and Floyd County, and deserves to be taken care of by its citizens,” said Blalock. “The Rome Area Heritage Foundation has a long history and relationship with the organization, and is happy and proud to support anything that is done to preserve the structure.”


The Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge Home exists to present and preserve the Cherokee history and culture for all generations. The main house sits along the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and is the only National Historic Landmark in Floyd County—one of just seven in North Georgia. The building has existed as a museum since 1971, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Any organization in Floyd County seeking to preserve history is invited to apply for funding from RAHF for eligible programs and projects that include but are not limited to: signage; interior/exterior restoration; cemetery restoration; research to document the history of a building or artifact; a master plan for restoration; scholarships to a qualifying area student to study preservation; and a variety of other activities and programs that support historic preservation.

For more information on local preservation initiatives, membership opportunities, and applications for grants and scholarships from the Rome Area Heritage Foundation, visit or contact 706-232-2570.