Underground Adventures at Consolidated Gold Mines
July 28, 2013
Gold was first discovered in the Dahlonega area in 1828, twenty years before the Gold Rush to California. When it was discovered it was completely by accident – when a deer hunter, Benjamin Parks, tripped over a rock 2 ½ miles south of what is now Dahlonega. He got to looking at it and it was full of gold. Within one year’s time some 15,000 miners heard about that and rushed to find some gold for themselves. At that time there was so much gold in and around Dahlonega that it laid on top of the ground, washing off the mountainsides for centuries.
Dee and I have been riding to Dahlonega, GA for the better part of 5 years. Dahlonega is about 50 miles north of Atlanta and has lots of neat shops and places to eat on the town square. We knew about the Consolidated Gold Mines for ever but never took the time to see what was all about. "Good things come to those that wait" says the old saying, but I wish we hadn't waited . We had a blast, panning for gold and gemstone mining.
There was about a 45 minute wait for our mine tour so we headed for the god panning area. As part of the mine tour you get a pan of sand to wash though for each paid ticket and I let Dee have a go at both pans. . Gold panning and gem mining are things she has always wanted to do. The photo to the left is what she got from the two pans after about 30 minutes and a little help from the on staff miners. They said the gold is worth about $4.00 or so.
Just as Dee got rich in gold panning room the called out our Mine Tour, we were the orange tour. The Mine Tour takes about 45 minutes and has some pretty steep stairs but it wasn't too bad even for this old fat guy. The tour guide was Zac and he was full of information about the mine history and the sights in the mine.
As you descend the stairs, you will hear tales of miner’s struggles to uncover gold deep within large Quartz veins. Your tour guide welcomes interaction from the group as you experience life as a miner at the turn of the century. After your tour, you will receive gold panning instructions from some of the best panners in the world, having won numerous awards in the field. Then you will get a chance to try if for yourself and hopefully you’ll strike it rich! The Mines remain at a comfortable 60 degrees year round. As a reminder, this is a walking tour. Guests enter the mine via three flights of stairs and two ramps. Strollers are not permitted in the mine. Pets are not permitted.
After the mine tour we headed back to the panning room to do some gemstone mining. You can buy different size buckets of dirt (sand) and we went for the medium size at $30.00 which is a 5 gallon bucket. Every scoop of sand that Dee put in the strainer she uncovered a bunch of pretty rocks. Watching her over that hour and a half was a joy. She had a great time and it was well worth the 30 bucks.
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