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SHERRY KUGHN: Dahlonega: gold rush city turned tourist city

North Georgia is a good place to vacation, and with a sister who lives near the tourist town of Dahlonega, I have visited there often.

Recently, I took advantage of visiting the newly renovated gold museum located in the middle of the town square inside Lumpkin County Courthouse, one of the oldest courthouse buildings in Georgia. More than half a million dollars was spent to update it and add a clear “safe.” A fist-sized lump of pure gold is on display, along with coins from the mint there that opened in 1838. Items used by miners are well displayed, as well as art work depicting scenes from the days of mining there. A 17-minute documentary tells how thousands of residents rushed into Dahlonega during the late 1920s and grew the town to about 3,000 residents until 1849 when the famous California gold rush lured most of the miners further west.