Abstract

This article traces the restoration history of the Chief Vann House State Historic Site, a former Cherokee plantation owned and operated by the state of Georgia. The article explores the make-up of the restoration community in the 1950s and identifies aspects of convergence and divergence among this white, elite group in terms of both their visions for the site and their notions of how best to represent Indians. It argues that restorers used the restoration process as a route for personal and community identity enhancement, identifying with the storied Cherokee Indians and claiming “Indian” characteristics and the historical experience of Indian removal for themselves.

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