In the early 1800s thousands flocked to the Dahlonega area in search of gold and the chance to make their fortunes. Today thousands come to the Dahlonega Gold attractions every year to learn about the area’s history making gold rush and even experience the thrill of discovering gold in one of the local mines or rivers.
Gold was discovered in the Dahlonega area in the early 1800’s. The first gold rush in the United States was not in California but in Dahlonega. The rush started in 1828. When gold was discovered in California the second rush began and many left Dahlonega to head west in search of wealth and fortune. Prior to the gold discovery the area was primarily inhabited by the Cherokee Indians.
The gold rush in Dahlonega changed the atmosphere of the area dramatically with prospectors searching for fortunes and miners staking their claims. While it’s said that the first prospectors could just scoop gold from the rivers and land, that didn’t last long and the prospectors soon resorted to drastic measures to extract the gold from the land. Water cannons were used to blast away the soil to get to the precious rock with no regards for top soil depletion or the destruction of creeks and rivers.
Dahlonega Gold Museum
There are some great ways to experience the history of gold in Dahlonega. The first is to visit the Dahlonega Gold Museum in the center of the historic square. The museum operates in the oldest surviving courthouse in Georgia and features exhibits on the discovery of gold in the Dahlonega area, on extraction techniques including the water cannons and mining, rare Dahlonega gold coins minted in Dahlonega, and a neat movie with old timers telling the history. This stop would be considered the most educational of all the Dahlonega gold attractions. For more information visit http://gastateparks.org/dahlonegagoldmuseum.
For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/xboAnU9bn8jdH1DaA
After visiting the gold museum head over to Hancock Park which is adjacent to the downtown square. There you will see the diving bell found in the Chestatee River. The “bell” was made in 1875 and was submerged in the water with miners inside to check for gold in the river.
For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/M79wrNvhQz8s3Hv19
Consolidated Gold Mine
For a tour of Dahlonega’s largest gold mine visit Consolidated Gold mine near the Walmart Shopping Center. The mine was also the largest gold mine east of the Mississippi River. You can take a guided tour into one of the mine shafts and see the tools used to extract the gold and get an idea of a day in the life of a gold miner. The mine tour is great to do in the summer months because the mine shaft stays in the 60s year round. At the end of the tour you can pan for gold and everyone gets to take home their prize gold flakes. This ranks as one of the most exciting of all of the Dahlonega gold attractions because you get to go down into the mine shaft. For more information visit http://consolidatedgoldmine.com
For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/7evHpeojkKfcSwXK8
Crisson Gold Mine
Crisson Gold mine is an open pit mine north of town established in 1847 and has an interesting shop in the front for prospectors. There one can purchase some serious equipment like portable river dredgers to scoop up the river bottom and send it through screens to filter out the nuggets, metal detectors, and sluice boxes. Crisson is known as a hard rock mine and has a working hundred year old stamp mill to crush the hard rock to get to the gold. For more information visit http://crissongoldmine.com
For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/SPiBJihRk1QPjeX39
Life Size Reproduction Stamp Mill
If you miss Crisson Mine and the stamp mill you can also see one at the Madeleine Anthony Park. The mill is powered by a water wheel. You can actually see it when you come into town from Highway 400. For directions visit https://goo.gl/maps/6iB6enj3AetBoaSP7
Come stay with us and experience the Dahlonega gold attractions.
For more things to do in the area visit https://www.georgiamountaininn.com/dahlonega-attractions/