Prospectors came from all over
The actual discovery of gold in North Georgia in 1828 was
an event of major importance and one that had far-reaching results on the
economy and history of the area. The story of the discovery of gold in
Georgia is told by Allan D. Candler, one-time governor of Georgia, in his
"Cyclopedia of Georgia, Volume III."
The negro slave of Major Frank Logan was not the first
authentic searcher for gold in the Nacoochee area. According to James
Mooney in his Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American
Ethnology, the Spaniard DeSoto and his men in their search for gold in the
Cherokee Indian Country of Georgia and North Carolina arrived at the
Indian town Guaxale (Nacoochee) on May 20, 1540.
While only conjectures can be made of these early
explorers, the same is not true of the 1828 discoveries, America's first
"gold rush" followed the announcement of the discovery of gold in North
S.W McCallie says in his Second Report on the Gold Deposits of
Georgia published in 1909: "By 1838 the production of golds in Georgia and North
Carolina had become of sufficient magnitude to warrant the establishment by the
United States government of a branch mint in that section.
'This mint was located at Dahlonega in Lumpkin County and operated from the date just mentioned until the year 1861, the time of the secession of Georgia from the United States. During the years the mint was in operation, more than $6,000,000 in gold was carried there."
Quoting further from The Second Report on the Gold Deposits of Georgia:
"The most extensive mining operations have been carried on in the region about Nacoochee Valley in the eastern side of the county.
"White County gained notoriety years ago when placer mining was being actively promoted by reason of large nuggets that were obtained from the Nacoochee Valley region, some of them weighing as much as 500 penny weights.
"Numerous nuggets of considerable size have also been found in the Loud Mind in the western part of the county."
White's Statistics of Georgia, published in 1849, lists among others the following mines in this area:
"Loud's vein has been a rich mine, not now in operation. Has been excavated to the depth of 135 feet.
"Gordon's, near Loudsville, is considered rich
"Lewis's, one mile from Loudsville, would be valuable were water convenient.
"Holt's, two miles from Loudsville, is thought to be rich.
"Richardson's mines on Dukes Creek in Nacoochee Valley have yielded 150,000 pennyweights in gold. They are still worked. Forty hands employed. Deposit mine.
"White and McGhee's mine -- vein and deposit. Produced in 10 years, 100,000 pennyweights of gold
"Williams mine on the Chattahoochee has been in operation about 20 months and paid fair wages.
'Littlejohn's mine on Dukes Creek is an excellent vein. Has been worked two years and has yielded 30,000 pennyweights of gold.
"Horshaw's mine on Sauly (Sautee) Creek has yielded largely."
Following the discovery of gold in California in 1849 gold
mining in Georgia suffered a serious setback, and for some years little mining
was done. During the latter part of the 1850s, many miners did return to the
state bringing with them new ideas and new methods of mining. Again mining was
done for a short lime.
John C. Calhoun, a brilliant statesman from South Carolina, invested in two mines in the North Georgia area. As miner's luck goes, one of the mines proved to have been salted and was worthless. The other one for which he paid the lesser amount of money yielded good returns.
Close to the turn of the century into this Nacoochee section from England came Charlie Roberts, to spend the remaining years of his life in a vain search for the gold that he hoped would make him rich. The community of Robertstown bears his name today.
John Martin came from London and invested heavily in mining property. In a report on White County, Francis P. King, assistant geologist, says that: "Mr. John Marlin, of London, England, controls in this county the largest collective gold tract in Georgia."
Many large nuggets were found on this particular property, and much gold was mined from the property during the years of Mr. Martin's control.
Among mines listed in White County in the Second Report on The Gold Deposits in Georgia published in l909 are these:
"Yonah Land and Mining Company's Property or Calhoun Mines. This property consists of several land lots. Very productive placer deposits have been mined in the past. Some vein mining also done.
"At the time the report was made, a dredge boat that had been operating in the Chattahoochee River and Duke's Creek a year or so back was located in these lowlands."
"Hardman Property along the Chattahoochee River near Nacoochee Post Office - Owing to heavy overburden, little or no mining has ever been carried on in the placer deposits here, though it has been reported that nuggets of considerable size have been secured from the bed of the Chattahoochee River at this locality. Possibility of a good field for dredging operations."
"Child's Mine -Several land lots are embraced in this property, but most important mining operations have been conducted on Lot 23, Third District. Complete Statistics could not be secured.
"At the time a visit was made, the property was owned jointly by Chancellor David C. Barrow of the University of Georgia and the heirs of Otis and A.K. Childs."
"Jones Mines on Lot 10 - just northeast of Child's Mine. A gold bearing zone has been mined for a number of years more or less continually at this locality. Greater part of the work done by hydraulic mining."
Some mines in the western part of the area are listed also.
"The Loud Mine - about four miles southwest of Cleveland, county seat of White County. A great deal of placer gold has been obtained in the course of different placer mining operations at this locality. Some nuggets have been found weighing as high as 300 pennyweights or more. No work in progress for several years.
"Sprague or Blake Mine - This mine on Lot 26, Fourth District, is a few miles northwest of Cleveland. Considerable work was done here years ago on an auriferous quartz vein. No work in progress for many years. Property in charge of Mr. J.W.H. Underwood of Cleveland.
"Bell Property - Placer deposits occur on Lot 132, Third District. Old placer workings to be seen on either side of creek flowing through it. Mining carried on years ago."
From these reports does it seem that all the gold has been
mined from White County?
Not so, says Dr. Vernon J. Hurst, a University of Georgia geologist. Dr. Hurst said that he has found enough workable gold in White County to warrant large-scale dredging operations.
In 1964, Dr. Hurst announced to a gathering of White County's Redevelopment Corporation that he found 38 gold-bearing quartz veins in a recently compacted study of the county's mineral resources.
One of the best possibilities for mineral development in White County is a renewal of gold mining both placer and lode.
Gold mining camps in other parts of the world have followed a common development pattern:
First stage - Discovery of gold and the intensive working of numerous small placer deposits.
Second stage - Depletion of the richer placers and a decline in mining activity.
Third stage - Search for lode deposits and the development of many small vein workings.
White County is now ready for the fourth stage, which is legal consolidation of "worked out" or low-grade deposits under a few owners and the beginning of large scale dredging or lode operations. The major production may be come in the fourth stage.
The volume and grades of gravels in the Nacoochee Valley, Sautee Creek, Bean Creek and Duke's Creek warrant a dredging operation.
*The content for this page came from Georgia Magazine - http://www.georgiamagazine.com/