Nestled in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains sits the small town of Dahlonega. The site of our nation’s first gold rush in 1828, the city is filled with history and tradition. The Historic Public Square has kept its timeless feel and character alive with its historical presence, significance, and architecture. The original courthouse, built in 1836, still stands in the center of the square, and the General Store, once a crucial aspect of life in Dahlonega, stands across from it.
The utilitarian purpose of Dahlonega’s old General Store has been preserved, and customers can imagine townsfolk conversing about their provisions for a long day of mining. Life before highways, supermarkets, coffee shops, and clothing good stores centered on this key institution for all matters of living: apparel, food, utensils, coffee, mail, entertainment and miscellaneous goods. The Dahlonega General Store still retains many of its original functions and has a warming feel of simpler times. Its items mimic some of the products that would have been on display in the 1800s. Different apparel, from t-shirts to socks and shoes, are stowed in the nooks and crannies of the store. Jar upon jar of preserves, jams and jellies, honey, salsa, and sauces fill the shelves. Locally sourced coffee is still brewed fresh at 5 cents a cup. It is a part of a long standing Dahlonega General Store tradition based off the words of US Senator Thomas Riley Marshall, “What this country needs is a good 5¢ cup of coffee.”
In addition to the history of the General Store being preserved through its rustic merchandise, novelty items are a key component to the whimsical atmosphere. Toys and trinkets, Civil War memorabilia, Appalachian Trail maps, and books on the local history are always in stock. Old carnival games are scattered throughout the store and classic Coca-Cola coolers are still in use. Local art is on display and handcrafted soaps are always available to scent test. With the rich history of the General Store’s pivotal past and the unique merchandise available, every customer is sure to enjoy themselves and learn more about the Dahlonega culture. Escape to the mountains of North Georgia and experience a simpler time.
Visit www.dahlonegageneralstore.com for more information.
This blog post is part of a collaborative with the University of North Georgia’s English Department and professor Michael Rifenburg. The concept is looking at Dahlonega’s events, attractions, and overall ambiance through the fresh eyes of UNG freshmen. This post was written by Alex Chastain, Ethan David, and Samantha Ethridge.
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau | 13 South Park Street | Dahlonega, GA 30533 | (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.