Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Explore the States Georgia
Photo of the festival on the street
Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, 1999

Enlarge this image
Gold Rush Days / World Open Gold Panning Championship
A Local Legacy

You've probably heard of the California Gold Rush of 1848. But did you know there was also a gold rush in Georgia?

Gold was discovered in Dahlonega, Georgia, in 1828. Nestled in the mountains of northern Georgia, Dahlonega is home to the Consolidated Gold Mine. At the turn of the 20th century, the mine was reportedly the largest gold mining operation east of the Mississippi River. In 1901, during a cleanup, 54 pounds of gold were recovered from it.

Each October, Dahlonega, which comes from the Indian word "talonaga," meaning "precious metal," celebrates the first big gold rush with a two-day festival that has grown into one of the biggest events in the area. Another festival, called the World Open Gold Panning Championship, began in California in 1961 to remember the 1842 discovery of gold in Los Angeles County. This festival moved to the Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega in the late 1980s. The Championship includes a contest in which the winner is the fastest person to pan eight nuggets of gold from a full pan of sand. How long do you think it would take you to pan gold nuggets?

page 1 of 1 More Stories

About Local Legacies     

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us