Georgia State

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Historic Sites
Tourist Attractions

Historic Sites

Chief Vann House State Historic Site
Called the "Showplace of the Cherokee Nation," this two-story classic brick mansion was built by Chief James Vann in 1804. Decorated with beautiful Cherokee hand carvings done in natural hues of blue, red, green and yellow, the home features a cantilevered stairway and many fine antiques. Although Vann was "feared by many and loved by few," he contributed more to the education of Cherokee leaders than anyone else. He was responsible for bringing the Moravian missionaries to his people to teach children, and he believed Christian civilization was a means of progress for the Cherokee. Vann was a polygamist who had three wives and five children. He was killed in 1809 for having shot his brother-in-law during a duel the previous year. Vann's young son, Joseph, inherited the house and his father's various businesses. The Vann House passed out of the family's hands when "Rich Joe" Vann unknowingly violated state law by hiring a white man to work for him. The government seized his properties, and the house was awarded to a white land lottery winner in 1834. For information call: (706)695-2598

Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site
Twenty years before the 1849 gold rush to California, thousands of gold seekers flocked into the Cherokee Nation in North Georgia, beginning the nation's first major gold rush. The towns of Auraria and Dahlonega grew and prospered with this mining activity. Between 1838 and 1861, more than $6 million in gold was coined by the U.S. Branch Mint in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Gold Museum, formerly the Lumpkin County Courthouse, offers visitors a look at the mining history of Georgia. Gold coins minted in Dahlonega and nuggets - one weighing more than 5 ounces - are on display. A 23-minute film describes the mining techniques and lifestyles of the prospectors through interviews with members of the long-time mining families in the Dahlonega area. In the town of Dahlonega, visitors can shop for gold nuggets and pan for gold. For information call: (706)864-2257

Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site
Visit the fortified aboriginal center that was the home to several thousand persons more than 400 years ago. Walk among the mounds, the largest standing 63 feet tall and covering three acres. Tour the museum where artifacts and exhibits interpret daily life in this once self-sufficient Native American community. The Etowah Indian Mounds symbolize a society rich in ritual. Towering over the community, these flat-topped earthen knolls were used between 1000-1500 A.D. as a platform for the home of the priest-chief, temples and mortuary houses. In some mounds, nobility were buried in elaborate costumes accompanied by items they would need in their after-lives. Although the Etowah people left no written records, artifacts help explain their lives and culture. Many artifacts at the museum show that the natives of this political and religious center decorated themselves with shell beads, tattoos, paint, complicated hairdos, feathers and copper ear ornaments. Well-preserved stone effigies and objects made of wood, seashells, stone and copper are also displayed. For information call: (770)387-3747

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site
The culture of a forgotten empire comes alive at this historic rice plantation along the Altamaha River. Visitors can walk beneath live oaks to the antebellum home furnished with fine antiques, then gaze from the porch past magnolias and camellias to the marsh where rice once flourished. The museum features fine silver, a model of a working rice plantation, and slide show about the life of planters and slaves. Around 1807, William Brailsford of Charleston began carving a rice plantation from the virgin cypress swamps along the Altamaha River. His son-in-law, James M. Troup, acquired additional land along the river. By the time Troup passed away, he owned 7,300 acres of land, 357 slaves and several homes. Until the outbreak of the Civil War, the plantation produced rice steadily. War, hurricanes and the lack of abundant labor led to the fall of the rice empire in 1915. Brailsford's descendants converted the plantation into a dairy that distributed high-quality milk in Glynn County. Due to a combination of reasons, the dairy closed in 1942. In 1973, the plantation was willed to the state of Georgia by Ophelia Troup Dent. For information call: (912)264-7333

New Echota Cherokee Capital State Historic Site
In 1825, the Cherokee national legislature established a capital called New Echota. A thriving town, this governmental seat became head- quarters for the small, independent Indian nation that once covered present-day northern Georgia, western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama. A remarkable development in the Cherokees' progress came in 1821 when a written form of their language was adopted. In 1828, New Echota's resourceful natives began printing a newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, in both Cherokee and English. Although these Native Americans patterned their government and lifestyle after the white man, they were uprooted from their land in 1838 and removed westward during the infamous Trail of Tears. Today, visitors can see several original and reconstructed buildings, as well as a film in the site's museum. Guests can tour the Supreme Courthouse, the Council House, the restored 1828 home of missionary Samuel A. Worcester, Vann's Tavern and a Cherokee homestead. In the reconstructed print shop, visitors can even see a sheet of the Cherokee's bilingual paper printed on a Washington hand press. For information call: (706)624-1321

Tourist Attractions

Atlanta Botanical Garden
30 acres of lush, landscaped gardens & woodlands. A conservatory houses rare & endangered tropical & desert plants. Lunch is sold April-Oct. Museum gift shop. Botanical Library. For information call: (404)876-5859

Underground Atlanta
The city beneath the streets is alive with activity! A center for fun, entertainment, dining & shopping. Authentic storefronts and historic buildings below and above the streets. Open Daily. For information call: (404)523-2311

Zoo Atlanta
One of "America's Favorite Zoos" is home to nearly 1,000 animals living in naturalistic habitats. Visit four families of gorillas, African elephants, black rhinos, lions, orangutans, flamingos, zebra, ostriches and a great reptile collection. The zoo is located in historic Grant Park, just east of downtown Atlanta. Hours of operation: April-October, M-F 9:30am-4:30pm, Sat-Sun 9:30am-5:30pm; November-March, M-Sun. 9:30am-4:30pm. For information call: (404)624-5600

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
Georgia's storied athletic heritage are featured in the 43,000 square foot facility. Educational and interactive exhibits honor heroes from the state's top high school, collegiate, professional and amateur athletic fields such as record home run hitter Henry "Hank" Aaron and football legend turned sports announcer Fran Tarkenton. For information call: (912)752-1585

King Center
The King Center is the official national and international memorial dedicated to continuing the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through education, training and research. For information call: (404)524-1956