Historically, Dahlonega has had always held the reputation for being the "gold" city of Georgia. Even the town's name is from the Cherokee language meaning "gold or yellow money." However, Dahlonega's rich history involves more than just gold. Here are 10 reasons why Dahlonega is known as one of the most historic town's in America.
1. Dahlonega is the site of the first MAJOR gold Rush in the United States in 1829. The Dahlonega Public Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2. A branch mint of the United States was built here in 1838 and produced gold coins for the United States Treasury until 1861. Today Price Memorial Hall sits on the site of the former mint – easily recognizable with its steeple of pure Dahlonega gold -- and serves as the administration building for the University of North Georgia, Dahlonega campus.
3. The Consolidated Gold Mine, built in 1899, was at one time the largest gold mining facility east of the Mississippi.
4. The University of North Georgia has maintained a corps of cadets, which has produced thousands of officers for the United States military since its founding in 1873. The college was originally named The North Georgia Agricultural College. Its first graduating class in 1879 consisted of three men and one woman, making it the first public college in the state to award a degree to a woman.
5. The Dahlonega Gold Museum, on the Historic Public Square, was originally built in 1836, and served as the Lumpkin County courthouse until 1964. The building has the distinction of being the oldest unaltered courthouse in Georgia.
6. In 1915, the Fox Film Corporation filmed a full length silent movie titled, "The Plunderer" in Dahlonega, which starred legendary actor William Farnum.
7. Dahlonega is home to the Chestatee River Diving Bell. This rare, one of-a-kind submersible from the nineteenth century was used to mine for gold on the bed of the Chestatee River from 1875-76.
8. The phrase "There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills" originated in Dahlonega. You'll have to visit the Dahlonega Gold Museum to hear how this story began.
9. Bill Miner, a career stage coach and train robber, conducted the only successful train robbery in Georgia. Miner was captured here in Lumpkin County and spent several days in jail before being transferred to Hall County where he was tried and sentenced to prison at the state penitentiary in Milledgeville.
10. The Georgia State Capitol dome in Atlanta is gilded with 43 ounces of pure gold from Dahlonega and Lumpkin County. In 1958, a wagon train with 43 ounces of local gold, which had been donated by Lumpkin County residents, left Dahlonega on a three-day trip which delivered the gold to the governor. The gold was then sent off to be melted down and hammered into thin sheets which were then applied to the capitol dome.
Dahlonega and Lumpkin County have many more stories and events for the visitor to learn about. Our rich history is waiting to be explored. Make Dahlonega your next destination.
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau | 13 South Park Street | Dahlonega, GA 30533 | (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.