The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians acquired 0.59 acres of land across from the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin. Principal Chief Richard Sneed was authorized by the tribal council to sign the resolution to purchase the site for $400,000. The tribe also authorized the expenditure of up to $100,000 on determining the highest and best use for the property. The site is the former home of Dan’s Foreign Auto, and the existing building will probably become a heritage-based educational center. Mainspring Conservation Trust, formerly known as the Land Trust For The Little Tennessee, is working with the tribe to create a conservation corridor. The organization purchased the property a few months ago with the intention of selling it to the tribe after it had been given sufficient time to cobble together investors “for the purchase and redevelopment of the property in a manner consistent with a vision of cultural interpretation, heritage tourism, and economic development.” Sneed said the tribe is still interested in regaining ownership of formal tribal lands, like the mound, which is now owned by the Town of Franklin. Not much is known about the origins of the manmade hill because archaeological excavation has been minimal. Likely built by the pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, it was used as a spiritual center and public meeting space by the Cherokee as early as 1730.