Join us for Vann House Day to celebrate the 66th anniversary of our establishment as a historic site.  Friends of the Vann House volunteers and Vann House rangers will be hosting demonstrations of skills from the early 19th century in this family friendly event.  On Saturday, July 27th from 10am – 4pm, you’ll see activities such as butter churning, weaving, spinning, hominy, gardening, woodworking, doll making, black powder rifles and more.

In the 1940s and 50s, Murray and Whitfield county historians, activists, and philanthropists fought with all they had to save the Vann House from rotting away or being sold.  Despite extensive rot and damage in the roof, windows, mantles, and cornice work that threatened to end the long reign of this plantation home, the “bones” of the house were still strong.  Volunteers, who would later go on to form the Whitfield Murray Historical Society and the Friends of the Vann House fundraised to restore the house to its early 19th century glory.  They were successful in raising funds to buy the house and establish a working relationship with the Georgia Historical Commission and on July 27th, 1958, the Vann House opened as a state of Georgia historic site for all future generations to appreciate, respect, and learn from.

With the help of local volunteers, you’ll see demonstrations of skills once observed daily by the Moravian Missionaries and Cherokee people who once resided in North Georgia.  Vann house blacksmith Rodney Deal will be working our forge, Marvin Garner is bringing his woodworking and chair caning tools and projects, Robin Fisher from the Chattooga County Garden Club will be working in the gardens, while Gary Pender from “A Colonial Experience” will be demonstrating the life of a fur trader.  Every year, Friends of the Vann House volunteers demonstrate their skills and we are excited to welcome back such demonstrators and tour guides as Eugene Underwood, Nancy Adams, Brenda McKaig, Tim Howard, Ethan Calhoun, the Huggins family, the Ellis family, Barbara Byers, Phyllis Cochran, Carey Mitchell, and so many others as they demonstrate churning, weaving, spinning, doll making, and even host tours of the historic home.

The Vann family built the three-story brick plantation house in the early 1800s and today it is the best preserved of the few remaining Cherokee homes from pre-removal times.  James Vann, a wealthy Cherokee tradesman and Chief, lived on the plantation until his untimely demise in 1809.  His son and heir, Joseph Vann, nicknamed “Rich Joe,” then took over management of the family business and plantation, and continued to sponsor the Moravian boarding school and mission that his father James initially established.  Rich Joe and his family were violently removed from their home in 1835, three years prior to the Trail of Tears, and much of their businesses and holdings were split apart by invading Americans.  Today, their restored plantation home stands as a reminder of the Cherokee legacy in Georgia.

Admission on Vann House Day will cover the tour of the house, grounds, and all demonstrations and activities, $7 per person.  This program will not be canceled for rain. This event is posted on our Facebook, Friends of the Chief Vann House.