It was October and the trees were golden...and not just the trees.
Benjamin Parks was walking through the woods of north Georgia when he kicked a stone. There were lots of stones in the woods, but the color of this one caught Parks’ eye. It turned out to be gold.
Five other people claimed to be the first to make the discovery, but the result was the same: thousands of miners swarmed into the mountains in what the Cherokees called the “Great Intrusion,” and the Georgia Gold Rush was on.
The U.S. government established a branch mint at Dahlonega in 1835; it produced $6 million in gold coins before closing in 1861. The mint eventually became the site of North Georgia College.
In 1958, mule-drawn wagons delivered 43 ounces of Dahlonega gold to Atlanta to be used on the Capitol dome.
The gold rush brought tragedy as well: it was one of the major reasons behind the removal of the Cherokee in 1838.
North Georgia would never be the same after Benjamin Parks picked up a golden rock on October 27, 1828, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.