Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Chief Vann House

I have mentioned before that my hometown is near Spring Place, a major Cherokee settlement in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  The centerpiece of this settlement was the beautiful home build by James Vann. James was the son of a Cherokee woman and a Scottish trader.  He amassed quite a fortune.

The house was a Mansion in its day. It had glass windows which was totally unheard of in North Georgia at the time. James Vann had glass imported from Savannah, Georgia. The bricks were made of the the red clay that is plentiful in the area.

James Vann was wealthy but it did not keep him from addiction to alcohol and gambling which lead to his murder shortly after the Vann House was completed. His wealth was left to his son, Joseph.

Before entering the house visitors can tour the museum housing many interesting exhibits. One of which is my Grandfather Henderson's collection of artifacts.

Proud granddaughter right here I must add.

Jacob Hickman was our tour guide and he was very knowledgeable and interesting. We also visited with Tim Howard, a local historian who is a friend of the family and a big supporter of the Vann House.
Much of the information on the Vanns and their plantation come from the diaries of the Moravian missionaries that James Vann asked to come to the area to educate the Cherokee and to spread the Good News of the Bible.

The Vanns did own slaves and this basket was probably made by a slave in the style of the baskets you will still find produced in Charleston, SC.   It was amazingly preserved.

The main entry to the Vann House. The stair well was built without the support that you can see to the right of the photo. It was a floating staircase but over the years it began to sag so the column was added for structural support. The colors used in the house are the blue of the sky, the red of the red clay, the green of the trees and the warm yellow of the sun.

The dining room with a portrait of Chief Joe Vann above the fire place. Joseph was very influential in the Cherokee Nation.

A reminder of some of the things that led to the murder of James Vann can be found in the parlor. President Monroe was a guest of the Vann family on one of his trips to the South.

As a stitcher I had to have a picture of this beautiful needlework.

The children slept in a dormitory in the attic. Boys on one side, girls on the other.

A bathroom circa 1804.

It was interesting to revisit the rich history of this part of North Georgia.  Tomorrow I will share how the other half lived in Spring Place, the Cherokee who were not wealthy but loved their lifestyle that was brutally ripped from them with the Trail of Tears.


Sandy said...

What an interesting post! I know you loved seeing your grandfather's arrowheads there. I remember you writing that y'all had donated them for everyone to enjoy. That is so cool!
Three things caught my eye without you even writing them. The colors...I so love color and those are so pretty there. Reminds me I am just not a neutrals girl. That table setting is adorable. AND yes, that stitching is amazing.

Mrs.T said...

What beautiful colors in that house, Arlene! It is interesting to know what they represent. I love the staircase. And the sampler is simply gorgeous.

Praying for you!

Arlene Grimm said...

Sandy, they have really made this a destination in the last 15 years. It was not so fancy when I was growing up there. Anyone interested in Cherokee Culture would enjoy touring this site. Thanks Mrs T...we are on our last full day of having the Grimmlins. Their parents arrive tomorrow and I think Grandpa and I both will be glad to sleep through the night on Friday. Of course I will probably have insomnia when I can sleep without being awakened.:)

Mary Hutchins said...

I loved this post! So interesting and how wonderful that your grandfather's collection is on display in the museum. Looking forward to learning about Spring Place.

Anonymous said...

John and I have visited there and it is especially nice to find out now about your grandfather's artifacts on display. I love the stitchery too.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love seeing these photos and learning more about this beautiful old house and the people that lived in it. The house reminds me a lot of Haile Homestead near Gainesville, FL. The kids all had the attic there too...girls on one side, boys on the other. Love that beautiful old basket. Hugs!

Terri D said...

Thank you for this interesting post!! The photos are amazing and I think it is beyond cool that your grandfather's artifacts are included in the museum/home. Awesomeness!

Cranberry Morning said...

These two posts are so interesting, Arlene! And also I don't think that many realize that slaves weren't owned just by white plantation owners. I love all the photos you took and shared with us! The 'trail of tears' is such a shameful time in the history of our country. Thank you for this post!