Gold in the hills

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Three separate gold-related sites should be on your itinerary for your trip to Dahlonega. Each attraction offers its own unique experience and perspective on the gold history of the area. Crisson Gold Mine If you want to see how rock is crushed and mined for gold, look no further than the oldest...

  • Miners young and old can strike it rich every day at one of Dahlonega’s mines with gold panning. Photo/John Bynum
    Miners young and old can strike it rich every day at one of Dahlonega’s mines with gold panning. Photo/John Bynum
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Three separate gold-related sites should be on your itinerary for your trip to Dahlonega. Each attraction offers its own unique experience and perspective on the gold history of the area.

 

Crisson Gold Mine boasts a working stamp mill from over 130 years ago, which crushes quartz to help reveal gold. (Photo/John Bynum)
Crisson Gold Mine boasts a working stamp mill from over 130 years ago, which crushes quartz to help reveal gold. (Photo/John Bynum)

 

Crisson Gold Mine

If you want to see how rock is crushed and mined for gold, look no further than the oldest operational goldmining company in town.

Crisson Gold Mine features a stamp mill dating back over 130 years, which is used to crush quartz from its open-pit mine. Visitors of all ages have the chance to pan this ore for the precious yellow metal using a variety of tools.

Visitors can take a tour of the stamp mill and even mine for gemstones in a covered area, assisted by expert instructors.

For folks interested in trying some advanced mining on their own, equipment such as gold separators, metal detectors and dredges are offered.

Crisson is located a couple of miles north of Dahlonega on U.S. Highway 19 past the reservoir. It is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. every day.

 

Consolidated Gold Mine tour guide Nolan Atkins shows visitors where a massive vein of gold-bearing quartz once filled the mountain. (Photo/John Bynum)
Consolidated Gold Mine tour guide Nolan Atkins shows visitors where a massive vein of gold-bearing quartz once filled the mountain. (Photo/John Bynum)

 

Consolidated Gold Mine

The mystery and allure of discovering gold in Dahlonega is alive for visitors at Consolidated Gold Mine, where the largest underground gold mine in the eastern U.S. was operated over a century ago. Tunnels remain preserved and are explored by thousands of visitors young and old.

The stories of miners who worked the mountain for 12-hour days are retold by knowledgeable tour guides, who demonstrate with authentic tools. Mine cart tracks guide folks from beginning to end of their underground adventure.

General manager Dathan Harbert pointed out the hard work that has gone into the newly expanded shop, which offers an ever-evolving selection of gold and gemstones. Gold panning and gemstone mining goes on all day as well.

“It’s a good rainy day activity,” Harbert said. “You can have your gemstones cut and made into jewelry onsite by an expert lapidary.”

Consolidated is open year-round, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Turn right just before Walmart and follow the sign down the hill.

 

Site manager Sam McDuffie welcomes visitors to the 1836 Lumpkin County courthouse, which now serves as the Gold Museum. (Photo/John Bynum)
Site manager Sam McDuffie welcomes visitors to the 1836 Lumpkin County courthouse, which now serves as the Gold Museum. (Photo/John Bynum)

 

Dahlonega Gold Museum

A $500,000 upgrade last year has made the Dahlonega Gold Museum a must-see for any gold enthusiast who visits the public square.

All-new displays on both levels of the museum transport visitors back in time nearly 200 years to when gold was first discovered locally.

The museum features authentic gold coins minted in Dahlonega, along with tools and displays highlighting what life was like for miners.

The museum is a state park site and guides are ready to share their knowledge about how a small town called “Dalonige” (the Cherokee word for yellow) became a hot spot of mining with 15,000 prospectors.

Originally the Lumpkin County courthouse from 1836, the museum has gold in its walls, which are constructed of locally made bricks.

Open year-round Monday through Saturday 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.