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BULLION BLURB - A Glimpse of History, Welcome to Dahlonega – Part 3: “Capturing the Imagination of Generations”

Here we are, three weeks in and Dahlonega is still my hot topic. But don’t worry, we’ll get back to other areas in the industry next week.

It’s the 1840’s, gold is becoming harder and harder to find in the North Georgia Mountains, especially with miners only using a shovel and pan. But then there’s news from the West Coast. James Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California found a shiny metal on the lumber mill he was building for John Sutter. After privately testing the metal, they confirmed that is was gold. Wanting to keep it quiet, naturally rumors started and the whole town knew. The news spread like wildfire.

President James Polk confirmed the discovery in an address to Congress at the tail end of 1848. This discovery prompted approximately 300,000 people to get up and move to California from the rest of the United States and the world.

Obviously, this meant the same for Dahlonega. The California Gold Rush caused most of the North Georgia population to move west in the hopes of continuing their treasure hunt and the search for gold.

Those who stayed had to shift their shovel and pan operations to hydraulic mining. These mining operations exposed veins of gold throughout the mountains. More than 150 gold mines filled the hills and continued to carve and shape North Georgia.

Despite the noticeable slow down, a $5 million investment was made to start the Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mining Company in 1900 – the largest operation east of the Mississippi. It didn’t even last a decade and officially shut down in 1908.

North Georgia, in particular Dahlonega, experienced the ebbs and flows that a unique opportunity can present. It brought in thousands of people and also saw thousands leave. Gold captured the imagination of generations, and Dahlonega remains at the forefront of the reason why.

We’ll see you next time for another Bullion Blurb.

Submitted by Andy Fox

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