Dahlonega, GA

We Explored an 1800s Gold Mine Under a Modern-Day Walmart in North Georgia, and Have Flakes of Gold from the Adventure


Like many small towns across America, the Walmart in Dahlonega, GA, is a hot spot for area shoppers. But under this Walmart lies a hidden surprise you won't find elsewhere: the remnants of a gold mine, including deep shafts open to exploration as part of a gold mine tour.

Hidden deep below the Walmart in Dahlonega, Georgia, an 1800s gold mine tells the tale of gold-seeking days gone by.Photo byDeanLand / OurTravelCafe.com

The Consolidated Gold Mine of Dahlonega operated for only 11 years before being abandoned in 1906. Unlike traditional mines which follow veins of gold, miners dug out quartz from the Dahlonega hillside shafts. Then, in a 120-stamp mill nearby, the quartz was crushed to recover the gold.

We joined a small-group tour of the Consolidated Gold Mine along with our grandkids, part of a weekend get-away to nearby Vogel State Park. For a full account of the visit and more historical details, visit our blog at OurTravelCafe.com (which includes links with advertising where the website or author may receive payments.)

Descending the stairs into the mine, our guide regaled us with history and legends of Dahlonega's gold rush past. Deep below ground, we walked through the abandoned shaft, careful not to trip on the remaining mine car tracks that follow the route. When all was quiet, the only sound was water dripping down along the rock down into the mountain.

Our guide regaled us with legends and lore, and also demonstrated antique mining equipment.Photo byDeanLand / OurTravelCafe.com

When our guide turned out the lights, we were surrounded by dark nothingness, unable to see even our hands a few inches in front of our face.

After the tour, we joined in a demonstration of gold panning. Our grandsons delighted in the activity, especially when they found the tiny gold flakes -- now a treasured keepsake.

Recently, we learned that the mine's owners used ground penetrating radar, plus flying and underwater drones, to create 3-D and other detailed maps of abandoned tunnels. They were hoping to open additional tunnels to touring, which may require a return visit in the near future.

More About Consolidated Mine

Our blog, OurTravelCafe.com, includes a more detailed account of this visit, including additional history, recent updates, and photos.

Where: Consolidated Gold Mine,185 Consolidated Gold Mine Rd, Dahlonega, GA 3053

Website: https://consolidatedgoldmine.com/

After the tour, our grandsons panned for gold, which was much easier than trying to find gold with massive picks.Photo byDeanLand / OurTravelCafe.com

We Found More Gold In Georgia

If you're interested in exploring for gold in Georgia, check out these related stories:

How We Found Gold in North Georgia Streams

Practical Advice from Georgia Gold Hunting Pros

Never Ask These Questions to a Gold Hunter

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I'm a trained journalist and retired global marketing executive. Living in Northwest Georgia, I write about about avocations including outdoors, travel, exploration, history and some of my community passions. I've traveled to 47 states and nearly as many countries. My South Louisiana-born French Cajun upbringing in food-rich Louisiana plus my extended restaurant-related career affirmed my status as an over-qualified eater. At my blog, OurTravelCafe.com, I offer a complete menu of our my own experiences, explorations and adventures, organized by geography and always sprinkled with some spicy, tasty tidbits and food notes.

Acworth, GA

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