While we were in Dahlonega, Ga., before Christmas, Sweetums and I took a tour of an underground gold mine. Many people aren’t aware that the country’s first gold rush began in the 1820s in Dahlonega.
Consolidated Gold Mining Co. opened in 1895 and closed in 1906. After being abandoned for more than 70 years, a company re-opened it in hopes of finding more gold. There is more gold in the mine, our guide said, but the cost of extracting it has to be less than today’s market value. When the venture to renew mining fell through, the mine was opened as a tourist attraction. It was amazing to see where the men worked so far below ground. There was some antique equipment on display down there, such as a type of jackhammer powered by pumped air.
Tours also include a pan of dirt that each guest can take to a water trough and sift to find any gold specks. We didn’t find many but, because we had to wait a while for another group to finish, we were given a free bucket of dirt filled with gem stones. Obviously the dirt was prefilled with the gems, but it’s still fun to see what you find when you run water through the dirt. I found a particularly large amethyst, my birthstone, which Sweetums had made into a ring for me. He says that’s why we got the free bucket, so we’d end up spending money on jewelry. It worked and I’m the beneficiary. I love the ring so much.
Check out a few photos from Consolidated Mine and Dahlonega.