Several Georgia state park and historic site managers were honored recently during a statewide conference held in Savannah, including those at the Chief Vann House in Spring Place.
Nearly 300 representatives from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and volunteers gathered for the event hosted by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. The group spent three days learning how to best operate their sites, including historic structure maintenance, programming ideas, volunteer retainment and marketing.
The conference also included an awards ceremony celebrating the efforts of those who make more than 60 state parks and historic sites outstanding destinations for Georgia's citizens and visitors. During this event, New Echota and Vann House manager David Gomez accepted the Cultural Resource Enhancement award for recent restorations at the Vann House historic site.
You may remember that last winter the Vann House seemed to be closed for months as scaffolding surrounded the Cherokee plantation home completed in 1804. In January 2018 when the scaffolding came down, the Vann House gleamed from a full facelift.
The large project included wood replacement, mortar and brick repair, front and back porch floor replacement, window repair, pressure washing and painting of the house. Farmstead work included chimney stabilization with period-correct timbers at the Little Scarecorn cabin and log replacement at the Sugar Creek cabin. The 100-year-old Bradford Barn is also undergoing work.
The farmstead repairs happened with help from Friends of the Vann House, the Vann House's excellent and committed team of volunteers. The group donated money and necessary materials salvaged from other historic cabins owned by local citizens, making these long-needed cabin repairs a reality. Thanks to all those who supported the staff during these restorations, and thanks to the DNR for honoring the Vann House with this award.
Additional nominees for this award included Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation in Brunswick, Roosevelt's Little White House in Warm Springs and Panola Mountain State Park is Stockbridge.