Construction on the Gordon-Lee Mansion began in 1840 by Mr. James Gordon and was completed in 1847. The home was constructed on a portion of Gordonís 2,500 acres in northwest Georgia after he moved from Gwinnett County Georgia and started a successful business.
The home and grounds are historically significant for several reasons. The grounds were home to the Cherokee Courthouse prior to the displacement of the Cherokees in the Trail of Tears. Also, it is one of very few remaining structures used by both Union and Confederate forces during the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. Union General William Rosecrans used the parlor of the home as his headquarters during that battle. Both Union and Confederate troops were treated in the field hospital in the house and on the grounds during that battle.
In 1889, the grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion were the site of the Blue-Gray Barbeque, in which 14,000 Civil War veterans returned to the site to eat, fellowship, and smoke a peace pipe. At that event, a decision was made to form the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, the first Civil War Battlefield in the United States to be set aside for historical preservation.
The home was originally owned by James and Sarah Gordon, then passed to their daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband and James Gordonís business partner, James Lee. The home then was passed to James and Elizabethís son, Gordon Lee, a United States Congressman, and his wife, the former Olive Berry of Newnan, Georgia.
In 1974, the house and grounds were purchased by a Chattanooga dentist, Dr. Frank Green, and restored with historical accuracy. Dr. Green sold the property to the city of Chickamauga in 2007. The home is completely furnished in 18th and 19th century antiques, most from the American South and of museum quality.