As the Georgia Historical Commission marker notes: Auraria, (Gold), in 1832 the scene of Georgia’s first gold rush, was named by John C. Calhoun, owner of a nearby mine worked by Calhoun slaves. Auraria and Dahlonega were the two real gold towns in the U.S. before 1849. Between 1829 and 1839 about $20,000,000 in gold was mined in Georgia’s Cherokee country. From Auraria in 1858 the “Russel boys”, led by Green Russell, went west and established another Auraria near the mouth of Cherry Creek that later became Denver Colo. Green Russell uncovered a fabulous lode called Russell Gulch near which was built Central City, Colo., “richest square mile on earth.”
As to the Calhoun Mine, it was indeed owned by the John C. Calhoun, seventh Vice President of the United States.
The iconic Woody’s Store, closed since the 1980s, is one of the most photographed landmarks in North Georgia. Please do not park in the driveways of the property, however, as a private residence shares the property.
More than one source, including Wikipedia, identifies this structure as a bank from gold rush days that was later converted into a house. Other sources state that a chimney is all that remains of the bank. I do believe it’s a 19th-century structure. I hope to learn more and will update this post when I do.
From the website of the Auraria Church of the Almighty God, as this historic church is now known: Auraria Church of the Almighty God was first known as Auraria Methodist Church. The first written records date back to 1846. From 1861 to 1873 it was an independent church with no known residential pastor. In 1873 it became a circuit church with several itinerant pastors. Thanks to many old-timers and lots of hard work, the church still stands. The church’s original appearance and many of the old traditions have been preserved as much as possible.
In reading this, I assume the church dates to the 1840s but cannot confirm it at this time.
Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Dahlonega, the gold steeple of Price Memorial Hall represents the University of North Georgia (UNG) and the history of gold mining in the area. It can be seen from many vistas around the city. The leafing was added in 1973, from gold mined in the surrounding area.
The property was deeded to the state in 1871. North Georgia College was established in 1873 and when the old U. S. Mint branch burned in 1878, it was replaced by the present structure, which came to be the administration building for the college. In 1934 it was named the Price Memorial Building for William Pierce Price, founder and first president of the board of trustees of North Georgia College.