During the 1790s, James Vann became a Cherokee Indian leader and wealthy businessman. He established the largest and most prosperous plantation in the Cherokee Nation, covering 1,000 acres of what is now Murray County. In 1804 he completed construction of a beautiful 2 ½-story brick home that was the most elegant in the Cherokee Nation. After Vann was murdered in 1809, his son Joseph inherited the mansion and plantation. Joseph was also a Cherokee leader and became even more wealthy than his father.
In the 1830s almost the entire Cherokee Nation was forced west by state and federal troops on the infamous Trail of Tears. The Vann family lost their elegant home, rebuilding in the Cherokee Territory of Oklahoma. Today the Vann House survives as Georgia’s best-preserved historic Cherokee Indian home. A guided tour allows visitors to see the house which features beautiful hand carvings, a remarkable “floating” staircase, a 12-foot mantle and fine antiques.
HIDDEN GEMS: Fall Into Quilts & Burn On The Staircase
View our curated collection of handmade quilts from the early 19th and 20th centuries. During October and November only, visitors can also see one of the earliest slave-made quilts in Georgia, a delicate artifact rarely on display.
See burn scars left on the staircase when the Georgia militia tried to smoke Joseph Vann from his home in 1835.
Historic Site Hours:
Thursday–Sunday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Last tour at 4:15 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day.
Historic Site Admission:
- Adults (18–61): $6.50
- Seniors (62+): $6.00
- Youth (6–17): $5.50
Group rates available with advance notice.
• 137 Acres
• Guided House Tour
• Visitor Center
• Gift Shop
• ½-Mile Nature Trail
• 6 Picnic Tables
• Bus Parking
• Chickamauga National Battlefield
• Chieftans Trail
• Cloudland Canyon State Park (camping/cottages)
• Funk Heritage Center
• Fort Mountain State Park (camping/cottages)
• New Echota State Cherokee Capital
• Old Federal Road Driving Tour
• Red Clay State Historical Area
• Southern Highroads Trail
• Springplace Moravian Cemetery
• Trail of Tears Highway
Chief Vann House Historic Site Business Plan
Teacher's Resources for Touring Historic Sites
Georgia Council on American Indian Concerns