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Old News Stories
Tablet Dedicated at Vann House, 1915

From The Atlanta Constitution
November 28, 1915

Unveiling of Tablet on Old Indian House
Is Impressive

The unveiling of a tablet on the old Indian or Vannhouse at Spring Place, Ga., last Sunday afternoon, November 2, by the Governor Milledge chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, of Dalton, Ga., was an event that engendered profound interest in this part of the stae.

It was an ideal November day and the drive through the gold and scarlet- bordered road, with the Cohuttah mountains in the distance shrouded in a misty haze of blue, was a feature of the day.

The old house, romantic in history and picturesque in surroundings, is situated on an eminence overlooking a valley.

The impressive exercises were witnessed by a large crowd assembled from the adjacent county, cities and towns, to participate in the event.

The program which was in charge of Mrs. R. M. Herron, chairman of the historic site committee, was initiated by the singing of "America," followed by an impressive prayer.

The regent of the chapter, Mrs. Paul B. Trammel, Sr., read a telegram from the state regent, Mrs. T. C. Parker, expressing regret at her inability to be present and congratulating the chapter upon the splendid work it was doing along historic lines.

In a few appropriate words, the regent then introduced Col. W. C. Martin, who gave the history of the old house. In a strong and forceful manner he delivered an address, which showed not only deep research, but a thoughtful weighing of the many traditions and facts relating to the past of the old house.

He gave a history of the Vann family gleaned from many authorities and a sketch of Joseph Vann, one of the most noted chiefs of the Cherokee Indians. The thrilling story of the house was most interestedly told, for, in adition to the Indian legends, that cluster around it, here is was that John Payne was tried on the charge of sedition, and exonerated.

Reference was made to old Moravian Mission house, which once stood nearby, the land upon which it stood having been donated by Chief Vann. He spoke of the early settlers of Murray county, of which Whitfield was a part at that time, and of our pride in those pioneers and uttered a challenge to the present generation to prove themselves worth of their splendid ancestry.

The audience then rendered the "Star Spangled Banner."

A poem, written for the occasion by Mrs. W. K. Moore, a member of the chapter, was beautifully read by Miss Mattie Lee Huff. It was a poem of land and home and county. It told of the Red Man's love of home as "he wandered through the fields we prize," and to the rugged Indian heart there was "no place like home." It told of the conflicts of civil war when "to live or die for Dixie" was "the purpose strong of the soldier boy in gray," but whose thoughts were every turning homeward, ending with the patriotic sentiment that "No matter where we roam, we always long for Dixie, for America, for home."

The regent then introduced Rev. F. K. Sims, who spoke on the work and aims of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In a most splendid address, dealing with the various phases of the work he held his audience in rapt attention. He paid a glowing tribute to the members of the organization, not only for their untiring research work, and for their work in marking historic sites, but for trying to instill and foster a fine and high spirit of patriotism in the minds of the youth of our country, as well as to promote education.

He closed, saying, "In honor of him who built this home and of him who passed this way and sang of home, we unveil this tablet today."

Just at this moment the cords holding two large United States flags were pulled apart by France E. Trammell and Edward P. Davis, Jr., both of whom are descended from many lines of revolutionary ancestry, disclosing the beautiful tablet, which bears the following inscription:

"This tablet marks the residence of Joseph Vann, a chief of the Cherokee Indians, built late in the eighteenth century. John Howard Payne, illustrious author of ‘Home, Sweet Home,' suspicioned of sedition, was brought to this house, examined and exonerated by the Georgia authorities. Near here stood the first Moravian mission to the Cherokee Indians. This historic spot is marked by the Governor John Milledge Chapter, D. A. R., of Dalton, Ga., 1915."

As it appeared, a wave of enthusiasm swept over the audience and a burst of applause followed the unveiling. Softly on the mountain air fell the strains of that heart song of the world, "Home, Sweet Home," sung with beauty of expression and depth of feeling by a quartet composed of Mrs. W. M. Jones, Mrs. W. D. King, Mrs. Neal Hamilton, Mrs. Frank Summerhour.

The large and appreciative audience showed, unmistakably, their responsiveness to the spirit of the occasion, the marking of the most important historical site of the Cherokee Indians in north Georgia.

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