Hard Cider Tasting and Apple Talk at Chief Vann House Historic Site scheduled for October 7

Celebrate fall with a hard cider tasting on October 7 at the Chief Vann House Historic Site hosted by Reece’s Cider Co., an exclusive tour of the Chief Vann House, a cider pressing demonstration by site staff, and a guest lecture on the restoration of heritage apples from the researchers leading the work, followed by a brief question-and-answer session.

Keynote speakers are UGA’s Stephen Mihm, Professor of History and Head of the History Department, and Joshua Fuder from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Call (706) 695-2598 to ask questions or pre-register for this program.

Chief James Vann’s “House on Diamond Hill” was the centerpiece of his 800-acre plantation in the Upper District of the original Cherokee Nation. Among their many assets, the Vanns owned hundreds of apple and peach trees, most likely for making hard cider, a staple of family life. Unfortunately, it will probably never be known exactly which apples the Vanns grew, or even if those apples still exist today. When Prohibition swept across America in the 1920s and 1930s, cider apples were first hit by anti-alcohol rhetoric, leading to the extinction of many apple species.

Today, research centers, individuals and universities around the world are working to restore and preserve heritage cider apples. Mr. Mihm and Mr. Fuder will talk about the history of apples and their preservation work at the Georgia Mountain Research Center in Blairsville, Ga. The cider tasting, hosted by Reece’s Cider Co., will offer guests a selection of hard ciders pressed from their own apples at BJ Reece’s Apple House and Orchard in Ellijay, Georgia.

This event is for adults 21 and older; A state-issued ID will be checked at the door. Reservations must be made by Sunday, October 2. Reservations can be made by calling the Vann House Museum at (706) 695-2598; payment will be accepted over the phone. Reservations can also be made in person on the Vann House website. There is no rain date for this event, it will take place rain or shine.

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Raymond I. Langston