Dahlonega Gold Museum
The cry of "There's Gold in Them Thar Hills" still echoes through the halls of the Dahlonega Gold Museum in Dahlonega, Georgia. When the news spread that gold had been discovered in North Georgia on Cherokee land, thousands of gold seekers flocked into Northeast Georgia from 1828 to 1847, starting our nation's first major gold rush. The Dahlonega courthouse which is now the Gold Museum was completed in 1836. The building was made using bricks cast from gold-rich Cane Creek and mortar made from the creek's mud, the building contains significant amounts of gold. the final payment for the building was made in gold bullion.
Now the Dahlonega Gold Museum, the courthouse replaced a much smaller wooden structure that stood on the same site. The new building housed a market on the first floor and the court on the second floor, but it also housed the assayer's office where the quantity and quality of the gold brought from area placers was determined. Many people who would become moving forces in Georgia over the next 5 decades spent time in or near the courthouse including William Akin, who became a lawyer in Bartow County and ended up trying the first case in before the Georgia Supreme Court, Mark Cooper, who ran for governor in 1843, and Vice President of the United States, John C. Calhoun.
National politics played a major role in building a mint in the city. Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, felt that a strong central bank was a problem. Most of his second term was spent dismantling the institution. Part of the act that weakened the National Bank in 1835 also authorized The Dahlonega Mint, along with others in Charlotte and New Orleans. The branch mint opened three years later. Over the next 23 years the high quality ore from North Georgia produced six million dollars in gold. The mint, closed by the Confederate Government shortly after the start of the Civil War was donated to North Georgia Agricultural College in 1871 along with ten acres of land. Today North Georgia College's impressive Price Memorial Hall stands on the foundation of the mint.
The courthouse is one of the oldest still remaining in the United States. Experience first hand the architecture of one of the oldest buildings still in use in North Georgia and discover this unique portion of the history of the mountain region.
Dahlonega Gold Museum
P.O. Box 478
Dahlonega, Georgia 30533