April 22, 2013

Meeting scheduled on future of Chief Vann House

Charles Oliver

— Built more than 200 years ago, the Chief Vann House in Spring Place has survived the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians, the Civil War and the Great Depression. Now, state officials want to get the public’s input on long-range plans for the historic site.

“We have a business plan and program that all of the state historic sites and parks in Georgia are developing. This will be a long-range plan, 10 years-plus,” said site manager David Gomez.

Gomez and ranger Julia Autry will hold a public meeting on the plan on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. at the Vann House interpretative center.

“We will basically be presenting a summary of the business plan that was developed for the site,” Gomez said. “The meeting is open to the public. But we particularly want to encourage stakeholders in the Vann House, those people who have helped us and supported us in the past, to come out and help develop the plans and goals for the site.”

The Vann House is a two-story brick house built in 1804 by Cherokee Chief James Vann. Four years ago, following state budget cuts, its hours of operation were cut, and it was placed under the management of Fort Mountain State Park. But it has recently become a satellite of the New Echota state historic site in Calhoun. Residents may find out more about what this change will mean at the meeting.

Carolyn Luffman, president of Friends of the Vann House, said she hopes the meeting has a large turnout.

“I’m not going to be there, unfortunately, because of a prior commitment. But we are encouraging members of our group as well as the general public to attend,” she said.