The story below is an excerpt from our January/February 2017 issue. For the rest of this story and more like it subscribe today, log in to read our digital edition or download our FREE iOS app. Thank you!
Rumors and whispers abounded about the old Webster-Green Hotel in downtown Cave Spring, Georgia, that a cabin was part of the dilapidated structure. The building had been home to an antique shop and a nursery. During the Civil War, a post office was located there.
But the residents of Cave Spring, who show their love for history and mystery by holding ghost tours every year, clung to the possibility that the building held a more mysterious past yet uncovered.
In 2010 a restoration crew peeled away the layers of the old hotel and the story of what was beneath.
The two-story log cabin inside the hotel began a journey for the residents of this northwest Georgia town of about 1,000 people that culminated in the restoration of the cabin.
In the six years since the cabin was discovered, locals and Native American historians have visited the town to learn more about the structure.
Local historians Billy and Vickie Abernathy were the first to realize the cabin was the former residence of Cherokee Avery Vann, the brother of famed Chief James Vann. Vann and his family lived in the cabin in 1810 when the area was largely inhabited by Cherokees before they were sent down the Trail of Tears.
Because of its significance to the Native American Journey, the site is now the ninth location on the U.S. Trail of Tears in Georgia. Several miles away in Chatsworth, Avery Vann’s brother’s residence, the Chief Vann House, is also a part of the Trail of Tears.