It is said Benjamin Parks was deer hunting in 1828 and overturned a rock laced with gold. Parks’ discovery sparked the first major U.S. graphicgold rush and the boomtown of Auraria, just south of Dahlonega. Lumpkin County, named for then-Georgia Governor Wilson Lumpkin, was created in 1832; Dahlonega became the county seat the next year. The U.S. government in 1838 opened one of the first Federal Branch Mints in Dahlonega, where more than $6 million in gold coins was minted. The Civil War saw the mint close, and the building later burned. Today, North Georgia College & State University’s Price Memorial Hall sits atop the mint’s original foundation.


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