|Panning for Gold in Georgia|
The great Georgia Gold Rush was sparked in 1829 (although some say the actual discovery was made the previous year) when news spread that gold had been found in the mountains about thirty miles north of Gainesville, Georgia. This is in the area of the present-day town of Dahlonega.
Men hoping to "strike it rich" flooded into North Georgia from all over the fledgling United States, much to the chagrin of the Cherokee Indians who owned much of the gold territory. The Cherokee, however, were forced west at bayonet point on the Trail of Tears in 1836-1838 and the entire gold country was opened to the whites once and for all.
|Gold Stream in North Georgia|
The wealth of the Georgia gold fields led towns such as Dahlonega and Auraria to spring up almost overnight. The U.S. Government even built a branch U.S. Mint in Dahlonega and turned out over $6,000,000 in coins there in just 23 years.
|Old Lumpkin County Courthouse|
Today's Dahlonega Gold Museum
There was still gold in the hills and millions more would be extracted. People still find it there today, in fact, and the U.S. Forest Service even allows the public to pan for a little of their own in the Chattahoochee National Forest!
To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/georgiagold.