Dahlonega doesn't exactly roll off of your tongue like Atlanta or Athens.
So what's in this distinct, four-syllable name? As it turns out, the name has Cherokee roots and and its lineage is intertwined with the town's gold rush history. A recent piece in Atlanta Magazine revealed that the town was previously called Licklog until the gold rush in the 1820s and 1830s inspired the General Assembly to rename it to Dahlonega — a moniker similar to the Cherokee word for gold. Here's another fun fact for history enthusiasts: Some of the gold panned during this time frame was used to crown the Capitol's dome, as a testament to the city's prosperity.
Just how prosperous was Dahlonega in the early 19th century? "The federal government opened the Dahlonega Mint so prospectors could assay and exchange their finds—before its closure in 1861, it produced $6 million in gold coins—and began removing Native Americans as part of the Trail of Tears," writes Thomas Wheatley in the article, reminding us of a sad time in our country's history when the Cherokee nation were forced to head West to what is now Oklahoma.
To this day, you can still try your hand at gold panning in Dahlonega — but good luck getting anything more than a few flakes. Whether you're visiting Dahlonega in the fall or for a holiday adventure in December (check out the video below), be sure to make time to stop by the Dahlonega Gold Museum to learn more about this boom time.
WATCH: Take A Trip To Dahlonega, Georgia This Christmas
Well Trivia Night, we are more ready for you than ever. A hearty thank you for sharing the fascinating piece of intel, Atlanta Magazine.