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Old News Stories
Old Courthouse Sold for $5.00 in 1916

From The Atlanta Constitution
July 16, 1916


Jail Goes for Like Amount.
Spring Place to Give Property
to State for Branch College.

Spring Place, Ga. July 15(Special)

The jail and courthouse at Spring Place, Murray county, together with all the premises belonging thereto have been sold at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash and were knocked down to the Murray county school board for $5 each, $10 in all.

The public-spirited citizens of Spring Place refused to bid on the property so rich in historical association, but have signified their intention to donate it to the state for the purpose of founding an industrial school as a branch of the State University at Athens, to which end Representative Beck, with all the people of Murray county, are working with might and main, especially so since it appears that Carrollton will secure such a school.

Payne Once Jailed There.

In the jail at Spring Place once lay the homeless author of "Home, Sweet Home," Payne, he having been arrested at Ross' Landing, now Chattanooga, on the charge of sedition in connection with the removal of the Cherokee Indians. It is said that in prison he was greatly affected in hearing the soldiers outside singing his immortal song. It was through the influence of his sweetheart at Athens, Ga., that Payne was liberated.

Chief Vann House.

At Spring Place also stands the Chief Vann House, a two-story brick building, with its wonderful and mysterious stairway, and it was Chief Vann who secured an order of court, still of record, forbidding a certain undesirable neighbor from trespassing on his 28 lots of land. Chief Vann was an enterprising pioneer who bought his brick in England. After their shipment to Savannah had them transported to Spring Place, some say, on the backs of Indians.

But now Spring Place, once famous for its hospitality, where nation-known beauties were entertained and distinguished men went to resort, has fallen into decay, and that more and more since the railroad shunned it, and the county site was removed to Chatsworth, only a few straggling houses remain along lonely shaded avenues.

But the town site is ideal, commanding a wide sweep of Cohutta mountains, a prominent feature being that of Fort Mountain, so-called from the remains of an old fort on its summit, said to have been built by DeSoto. Still Spring Place has one remaining glory, and maintains that her women are still the most beautiful in the world, and worthy of highest place in song and story. But educational facilities have been denied her, and all this mountain section, and now Murray is out for a college with a strong bid.

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