Candlelight Tours return to the Chief Vann House

File/Daily Citizen-News

Visitors tour the Chief Vann House by candlelight in this file photo.

Time has flown by and our staff and volunteers are happy to once again host Candlelight Tours at the Chief Vann House Historic Site.

On Friday, Dec. 10, and Saturday the 11th, from 5 to 8:30 p.m., guests attending the event can tour the house by candlelight while listening to live music and enjoying authentic 19th century decorations.

This annual event celebrates the many Christmases hosted by the Moravian missionaries who operated the Western-style school (sponsored by the Vann family) for Cherokee kids from 1800 until 1835.

It is likely the missionaries were hosting the first large Christmas celebration within the Cherokee Nation. In the early 1800s, the Moravians at the Springplace Mission recorded that their Christmas service was one of the most well-attended services of the whole year. Traditional gifts were often paper scrolls with beautifully scripted Bible verses inside a painted wreath border, and a small candle for each service attendee.

A traditional Moravian Christmas was often accompanied by a “Lovefeast” and “Singstunde” wherein the merriment was singing, praying and the sharing of food and drink. To honor this practice, we will also be serving a traditional holiday snack, spiced apple cider and Moravian ginger cookies from our two-story log cabin, the Vann Kitchen/Workhouse exhibit.

For the safety of all our volunteers and other guests, we do request that all guests able to do so please wear proper masks covering the nose and mouth. This is a well-attended event (as many as 400 guests a night) and the Vann House has limited space inside, making for a very close event.

For guests who would like a little more elbow room but still want to enjoy the holiday season, we have just the thing. From Dec. 9-24 guests can tour the Vann House adorned with fresh wreaths (purchased from the North Murray High School FFA seasonal fundraiser), hand-collected greenery, nativity scenes and many ornaments in between. The candles will only be lit during the actual Candlelight Tours event.

Winter hours at the Vann House are Thursday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with guided tours hosted on the hour. Last tour of the day always begins at 4 p.m.

This event will be held rain or snow. We hope to see you then! From all our staff and volunteers, we wish you a peaceful and safe holiday season.

Regular admission: $6.50 to $5.50 plus tax, children 5 and under are free.

Visit us on Facebook at Friends of the Vann House, Instagram at Vann_House_Park or online at www.gastateparks.org/chiefvannhouse

The Chief Vann House is at 82 Highway 225 N. in Chatsworth. The phone number is (706) 695-2598 and the email address is vann_house_park@dnr.ga.gov.

In 1804, Cherokee Chief James Vann was the wealthiest man in the Cherokee Nation and built a three-story brick house in the center of his 800-acre plantation.

The mission of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilize sound environmental practices.

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