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Chief Vann House
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 Â1/2-story brick home that was the most elegant in the Cherokee Nation.
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site
Twenty years before the famed 1849 gold rush in California, thousands of prospectors flocked into the Cherokee Nation in north Georgia, marking the true beginning of our country's first gold rush. Their dramatic story is told inside the historic 1836 Lumpkin County Courthouse, the oldest courthouse in Georgia. Dahlonega prospered with this mining activity, and a U.S. Branch Mint opened in 1838, coining more than $6 million in gold before closing in 1861. The museum's exhibits include a set of these coins, a nugget weighing more than five ounces, a large hydraulic cannon and nozzle used to blast soil from mountainsides, a film and gift shop. Visitors can also explore the courthouse features, including beautiful wooden chapel seats from 1889 and the judge's chambers. The town of Dahlonega is a popular destination for gold panning, shopping and sightseeing.
Etowah Indian Mounds Historical Site
home to several thousand Native Americans between 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.D., this 54-acre site contains six earthen mounds, a plaza, village area, borrow pits and defensive ditch. This is the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeastern United States.
while only nine percent of this site has been excavated, examination at Mound C and surrounding artifacts revealed much about the people who lived here more than 500 years ago. The Etowah Indian Mounds symbolize a society rich in ritual. Towering over the community, the 63-foot flat-topped earthen knoll was likely used as a platform for the home of the priest-chief. In another mound, nobility were buried in elaborate costumes accompanied by items they would need in their after-lives. Today, visitors may tour the museum where exhibits interpret daily life in the once self-sufficient community.
In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River. During its short history, New Echota was the site of the first Indian language newspaper office, a court case which carried to the U.S. Supreme Court, one of the earliest experiments in national self government by an Indian tribe, the signing of a treaty which relinquished Cherokee claims to lands east of the Mississippi River, and the assembly of Indians for removal west on the infamous Trail of Tears. Today, visitors can see several original and reconstructed buildings, including the Council House, Court House, Print Shop, Missionary Samuel Worcester's home, and an 1805 store, as well as outbuildings such as smoke houses, corn cribs and barns. In the visitor center, guest can purchase original Native American arts, crafts and music, and view interpretive exhibits and a 17-minute film.