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 wealthier 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 historical 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.