Early settlers went into Dahlonega and the Blue Ridge Mountains to search for gold! This was the driving force which built this little town and caused it to thrive for years to come. Lumpkin County was created in 1832 and named in honor of Wilson Lumpkin who served in both state houses, as Governor, in the U. S. House of Representatives and Senate. Before that time, the Cherokees and Creeks inhabited this land, having many gold and silver mines in the territory. The Creeks and Cherokees fought a battle in Slaughter's Gap on Blood Mountain near Union County which lasted for days. The result was that the Creeks had to retreat south of the Etowah River. Long before the Georgia Gold Rush which was most in Lumpkin County, precious metals were found in the mountains near present-day Dahlonega. During the 1730's Spanish miners visited the area on a number of occasions before being expelled white English settlers who cut off their supply route from Florida. Actually gold was discovered in Lumpkin County before 1830 although mining of gold in White County was already under way.
Lumpkin County Records Available to Members of Georgia Pioneers
- Lumpkin County Marriages from newspapers 1885-1886
- Minutes of Wahoo Baptist Church, Book 1, 1833 to 1873
- Membership Roll of Wahoo Baptist Church
Indexes to Probate Records
- Lumpkin County Wills 1833-1852 (abstracts).
- Index to Lumpkin County Wills, Book A, 1845-1923
- Index to Lumpkin County Annual Returns, Inventories, Vouchers 1847-1856
- Index to Lumpkin County Annual Returns, Inventories, Vouchers 1847-1873
- Index to Lumpkin County Annual Returns, Inventories, Vouchers 1855-1890
- Index to Lumpkin County Annual Returns, Inventories, Vouchers 1859-1893
By Jeannette Holland Austin
If you see the word "miner" on the 1850 census as the occupation, what you have is a relative who was sniffing out the trail of gold discoveries in Georgia. Do not be surprised to notice that this adventurer moved about in the mountains of North Georgia. In Lumpkin County, the rush began in 1829 and spread rapidly throughout the region.In fact the word spread so quickly that newspapers caught wind of it.
Georgia Journal, Millegeville. "GOLD. A gentleman of the first respectability in Habersham county, writes us thus under date of 22d July:" Two gold mines have just been discovered in this county, and preparations are making to bring these hidden treasures of the earth to use. " So it appears that what we long anticipated has come to pass at last, namely, that the gold region of North and South Carolina, would be found to extend into Georgia."
The Macon Telegraph reported that during "the winter of 1829 and 30, when the precious metals having been discovered in great abundance upon our Cherokee soil, great numbers of people from Georgia and other States rushed to the Territory in search of its treasures."
A year later gold was discovered in Carroll County and as well as on Cherokee lands in Lumpkin, White, Union and Cherokee Counties. While most people were placer mining, boom towns like Auraria and Dahlonega began to appear. It was said that Dahlonega supported 15,000 miners at the height of the gold rush.
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