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Gold Discovered in Georgia
About North Georgia

Note:The earliest discoveries of gold by Georgia settlers were along the Habersham gold belt and in Rabun County and Carroll County in non-contiguous portions of the Dahlonega gold belt

Panning for Gold
Today most historians, including the Georgia Historical Society, agree that the first gold discovered in the Chattahoochee River and Etowah River basins was found on Duke's Creek north of Loudsville, Georgia, at the extreme southwestern end of the Nacoochee Valley in 1828. It was this discovery that touched off the first gold rush in American history. From northeast of Helen to Dahlonega, and further southwest into Cherokee County the Dahlonega gold belt remains the purest ever found in the world.

Within months thousands of "twenty-niners" poured into the state, however, the land in the Nacoochee Valley was settled a decade earlier, so purchasing or leasing the land was the only option for miners who wanted to work the area near the earliest discoveries. In a very short time land prices double, then double again. What is commonly called Georgia Gold Rush occurred west of the Nacoochee Valley, where land was held by Cherokee Indians.

Along the Chattahoochee River surface gold was panned from larger rivers. Miners then purchased small tracts looking for veins. Water-powered stamping machines would grind rock and then the gold would be removed, frequently by panning.

Finally, starting in 1857, hydraulic mining was used to search the soil for alluvial gold (gold found at or near the surface of the land). Gold was a very profitable venture for both miners and local farmers. For example, according to F. M. Green in Georgia's Forgotten Industry, Thomas Lumsden drew thirty thousand dollars in gold from a mine on his property north of the confluence of Dukes Creek and the Chattahoochee River during a single summer.

Next: After the Gold Rush


Helen:Her Story

Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Early Cherokee Influence
Spanish Influence in Helen
First Settlers Arrive
Unicoi Turnpike
Gold Discovered in Georgia
After The Gold Rush
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Wood is the new Gold
End of the Wood Era
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
A new road for Helen
A Park named Unicoi
Helen 1954-1969
Rebirth of Helen
Modern Helen
Helen-Her Fun
Directions to Helen


Alpine Helen
Popular tourist destination in Northeast Georgia

Article Links
A Park named Unicoi
A new road for Helen
After The Gold Rush
After the Gold Rush
Archaic Indians in Sautee-Nacoochee Valley
Captain Nichols and Anna Ruby Falls
Charlie Maloof and Arthur Woody
Chattahoochee River
Cherokee County
Directions to Helen
Early Cherokee Influence
End of the Wood Era
First Settlers Arrive
Georgia Gold Rush
Gold Discovered in Georgia
Helen 1954-1969
Helen-Her Fun
Modern Helen
Rebirth of Helen
Spanish Influence in Helen
Unicoi Turnpike
Wood is the new Gold

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