Nikwasi Indian Mound

Categories: Museums & Historic Sites


  •  Historic location in downtown Franklin
  •  Site of the Cherokee Village, "Nikwasi" 
  •  Originally crowned with a large townhouse which held the "ever burning sacred fire" 
  •  Unknown age

The Local Scoop

What is now Downtown Franklin North Carolina, used to be a thriving Cherokee Village called "Nikwasi." This mound has luckily escaped excavation attempts over the years and has for the most part escaped destruction from farming and modern construction. This huge mound once was crowned with a large townhouse of the Cherokee people and held the "ever-burning sacred fire", and was the dwelling place of the immortal spirit-beings, the "nunnehi." We recommend taking pictures and observing from the bottom of the mound but we ask, along with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, that you stay off of the sides and top of the mound to help preserve it. The age of the mound is unknown but judging from it's location among multiple Cherokee towns in the area, it could be more than 1,000 years old. The Little Tennesse River was dotted with such towns long ago and Franklin holds a lot of that history within it's borders.

The Local Directions

Take U.S. Hwy-441 "Business" into downtown Franklin (E. Palmer Street/E. Main Street) for 0.5 mile to Nikwasi Lane on your left. You'll see the Indian Mound to the left of E. Main Street (across from "Hot Spot" gas station & "Dan's Auto Service").

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35.184963, -83.373592
Easy via East Main Street/
U.S. Hwy-441 Business 
Macon County
Nikwasi Lane
Franklin, NC 28734
Distance From
Franklin, In town limits