"Possibly the only remaining example of a 19th Century diving bell in existence.”
- Wreck Diving Magazine
As a must-see artifact from the Gold Rush days, the Chestatee River Diving Bell exhibit and plaza is located in downtown Dahlonega’s Hancock Park at Hawkins Street. One preservationist called it the “…first bell of its kind found within the archeological record.” The Bell, which dates from the Civil War, was first used to scan the Mississippi River in New Orleans and used to help divers breathe underwater while scanning river bottoms. In 1875, Philologus Loud, an inventor and entrepreneur, brought the Bell to Georgia, where it stopped in Gainesville, Georgia before moving to Dahlonega by a Southern Express wagon. The following year, a ship carrying the Bell sank in the Chestatee River and the Bell stayed submerged until 1983, when it was discovered. The submarine-style, maritime artifact was restored around 2003 and is destination Dahlonega’s newest Gold attraction!