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Chatsworth in Murray County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Springplace Moravian Mission & School

 
 
Springplace Moravian Mission and School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Darren Jefferson Clay, August 28, 2021
1. Springplace Moravian Mission and School Marker
Inscription.  
"The day at Springplace began with all students up and dressed and kneeling in prayer. After breakfast, school was in session until lunch. The students spent the hours until late afternoon helping with various tasks around the mission, with some time allowed for play. There was another session of school before supper followed by songs and prayer in the evening."

Chiefs James Vann and Charles R. Hicks encouraged the Cherokee Council in 1800 to allow a group of Moravian missionaries to open a school for Cherokee children. Chief Vann purchased this site for that purpose. However, except for this cemetery and the limestone spring that supplied its name, there is very little to remind us that the Springplace Moravian Mission once stood here. (The spring is located today just beyond the intersection of Ellijay Street and Lucy Hill School Road.)

In 1801 Vann's daughter Sarah became the first student at the mission, making Springplace the first school in the Cherokee Nation. During its 32-year history, over 100 Cherokee students began their education here. Instruction included religion, reading,
Springplace Moravian Mission and School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Darren Jefferson Clay, August 28, 2021
2. Springplace Moravian Mission and School Marker
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writing, science, arithmetic, history, farming, and housekeeping. Eventually, the mission complex grew to include a chapel, missionary residences, a dormitory, a "house for strangers,” farm buildings, several large fields, and an orchard. When a young student named Dawnee fell ill and died while attending Springplace, the missionaries began a "God's Acre” (a common Moravian term for cemeteries) at this spot, which was in the orchard at that time.

One of the first actions that Georgia took in preparation of the removal of the Cherokee was to close all the mission stations. On Christmas Eve in 1832, the Georgia militia demanded that the Moravians close the mission. On January 7, 1833, the Missionaries bid farewell to their beloved Springplace. The Georgia militia turned the mission complex into their headquarters during the Cherokee Removal. By the early 1900's all the structures and gravestones had been removed or destroyed and the majority of the site, including the God's Acre, was developed as farmland. Archaeologists using ground penetrating radar rediscovered the burial sites in 2000 and this two acre tract was donated to the State of Georgia in 2002 by Moses and Merritt Bond in honor of Ida Keith Treadwell and Thelma Treadwell Bond.

(captions)
Artist conception of the Springplace Mission Station. Most of the mission buildings once stood
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in the ara behind you past the tree line.
Early 1800s map of the Springplace Mission. The lane shown next to God's Acre is the tree line behind you.

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyCemeteries & Burial SitesEducationNative Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is January 7, 1833.
 
Location. 34° 45.67′ N, 84° 48.985′ W. Marker is in Chatsworth, Georgia, in Murray County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Georgia Route 52 and Ellijay Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 109 Ellijay St, Chatsworth GA 30705, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Moravian Mission to the Cherokee Indians (here, next to this marker); Anna Rosina Kliest Gambold (a few steps from this marker); "God's Acre" (within shouting distance of this marker); Principal Chief Charles Renatus Hicks (within shouting distance of this marker); Springplace Mission (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Federal Road (approx. 0.3 miles away); John Howard Payne (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chief Vann House (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chatsworth.
 
Also see . . .
1. Moravians. Oklahoma Historical Society (Submitted on September 14, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia.)
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2. Indian Missions. New Georgia Encyclopedia (Submitted on September 15, 2021.) 

3. The Moravian Spring Mission Among the Cherokees. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) (Submitted on September 15, 2021.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2021, by Darren Jefferson Clay of Duluth, Georgia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 21, 2021