Consolidated Gold Mine Blog

2017 Gold Rush Days Festival

2017 Gold Rush Days Festival

Well, it’s fall again and there are a lot of things to do in Dahlonega, most notably Gold Rush Days Festival. That’s right, the 2017 Gold Rush Days Festival is just around the corner on the third weekend of October—the 21 and 22nd. Nearly 200,000 folks will descend upon the Dahlonega downtown to commemorate the discovery of gold here by Benjamin Parks in 1828. There will be over 300 arts and craft and food vendors on the public square and historic district. Festivities will kick off with the Gold Rush 5k which takes you around the beautiful campus of the University of North Georgia and through the historic streets and neighborhoods of Dahlonega. Check out the official route. The entry price increases on October 19 at 5:00 pm, and shirts are available in limited quantities so register today. The festival officially begins at 9:00 am with various events happening throughout the day. Stroll through the booths and check out some neat arts and crafts, peruse the shops, grab a bite at one of local restaurants or food vendors, take a ride in a helicopter to check out the festival from the air, or visit the old 1864 County Jail and Museum, which’ll be open both days from 10 am to 4 pm with free admission. The weekend will also include magic shows, fashion shows, wrist wrestling, story telling, saw competitions, and the music of the Gina Bailey Band, T.W. Holeman Music Group, Crossroads Band, Radford Windham & Stepback Cadillac. The day’s highlight will be the Gold Rush Days Parade featuring classic cars, tractors, floats, dancers, and even Civil War reenactors. If you or... read more
5 MORE Fun Things to do in Dahlonega this Summer

5 MORE Fun Things to do in Dahlonega this Summer

Summer of 2015 we posted a blog entitled “5 Fun Things to do in Dahlonega This Summer.” It was a fairly popular post, but it only scratched the surface of what Dahlonega has to offer. Well, we decided to post a list of 5 more fun things to do in Dahlonega this summer. 1. Run or walk a race Dahlonega is host to a number of great 5 and 10k races throughout the year. The ConnectAbility 5k/10k is one of Dahlonega’s best attended and best organized races and includes a free fun run for the kids. ConnectAbility is an organization that serves people with disabilities and their families in the community. A number of athletes with disabilities will be participating. Come and run with them, hear their stories, and be inspired. For you crazier folks, there are a number of ultramarathons near our town. For instance, The Dahlonega Ultramarathon Association is hosting Merrill’s Mile at Dahlonega’s own U.S. Army Ranger Camp Frank D. Merrill. Runners will complete as many laps as possible around a 1 mile track over the course of 12, 24, and 48 hour periods—pick your poison.  Last years winner ran 170 miles over the course of 48 hours! Wow! The Dahlonega Ultramarathon Association hosts a number of prominent ultra races throughout the year, including the Cruel Jewel 50 & 100 mile races in May. Other notable races include the Dahlonega Firecracker 5k on the 4th of July. More on that later. 2. Cool off below a waterfall Dahlonega and Lumpkin county have a number of different beautiful waterfalls. However, very few offer good swimming holes. One of the most popular waterfalls with a... read more
6 Things to do in Dahlonega This Holiday Season

6 Things to do in Dahlonega This Holiday Season

The holiday season in Dahlonega is a magical time. The square is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. The sounds of jingle bells fill the air as large draft horses pull folks around the square in elegant old-fashioned carriages. If you get lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Santa and Mrs. Claus in their sleigh or maybe grabbing a bite at Bratzeit, the local German restaurant—something the paparazzi spotted them doing earlier this week. With so many whimsical activities it can be hard to pick any favorites. Well, this is our attempt at picking 6 Things to do in Dahlonega this Holiday Season. See Santa and Mrs. Claus Take your kids to see Santa. Don’t have kids? Go see him yourself and let nostalgia whisk you away to the simpler times of childhood. Even the biggest Scrooge can’t help but feel a little merrier after seeing the jolly guy. Santa’s a busy guy this time of year, so be sure to check his schedule on the Dahlonega Old Fashioned Christmas website before heading to the square. Christmas Parade Bundle up and head down to the square on Saturday at 4:00. See Santa and Mrs. Claus roll by in his sleigh, minus the reindeer. Watch classic cars, big rigs, marching bands, tractors, horses, and floats make their way around the square. The parade is always a family favorite. Maybe you’d even like to participate by driving that ’57 Chevy around the square, or maybe your want your civic organization to be represented. If so, fill out the parade application located on the Parade page on the Old Fashioned Christmas website.... read more
In Memory of Gary Gray

In Memory of Gary Gray

Yesterday, we were saddened to hear that one of our own had passed away. For ten years, he was a guide here at Consolidated. To say he will be missed is an understatement. As I stood outside the office today, I glanced over to an old concrete slab with layers of gold spray paint covering it. That is the spot where Miner Gary would lay his “gold” bar and touch it up with spray paint before his first tour of the day. He painted it religiously. He wanted it to sparkle when he showed it to his tour group. He took great pride in giving the best tour he could and a great tour it was indeed. He often quirked that he gave a “dynamite tour”, both in its quality and the fact that he enjoyed talking about blasting. He even carried a prop stick of dynamite on his tour, to the delight of everyone. It had a real fuse and he lit it up one day in our gift shop, much to our amusement. He passed the stick to Miner Mike to take the blame for the incredible amount of smoke in the shop. On a busy day at the Mine, Gary could outwork the best of us and on a slow day he was the one you wanted to sit down with and talk to. He was a wealth of information, a true renaissance man. He could debate any topic from drag racing to politics, science, history, family, religion and so much more. I don’t think there is a topic under the sun that we didn’t talk... read more
Things to do at Night in Dahlonega

Things to do at Night in Dahlonega

You can feel it, it’s in the air. That cool breeze in the mornings, the way the temperature drops by 10 degrees in the shade, and the days are getting shorter. Fall is clawing tooth and nail to get to us as fast as she can, and boy are we ready for her! Fall brings all sorts of goodies from festivals and funnel cakes to what might be deemed by some as “perfect” camping weather. The leaves will change and hikes will become more vibrant and colorful pretty soon, everything will be pumpkin flavored. With such great weather right on the horizon and plenty to do during the day, we figured we would share some insider information with you about how to spend those beautiful, clear, Fall nights! Eyes on the Skies! On Friday nights the North Georgia Astronomical Observatory hosts an OPEN (Observatory-Planetarium Public Education Nights) program night that is free to the general public. The doors open for the planetarium show at 7:30pm and the show will start promptly at 8:00pm (late admittance will not be allowed under any circumstances). The OPEN program telescopic viewing at the Observatory will begin at 9:30pm (weather permitting). The George E. Coleman, Sr. Planetarium is located in the Health & Natural Sciences (HNS) Building on the UNG Dahlonega campus. For more information about the OPEN Program, show times or directions, check the UNG website. If you’d rather just look at the stars on your own, there are several great spots right around Dahlonega to go and gaze with minimal to no light pollution! Brasstown Bald gives a great pollution-free view at nights... read more
Dahlonega Digs

Dahlonega Digs

Come Stay With Us! I wanted to start this blog by saying that Summer is the best time to visit Dahlonega, but then I got to thinking; there actually is never a bad time to visit Dahlonega. Whether it’s a fall festival, an olde-time winter Christmas, a spring farmer’s market or summer movies under the stars and concerts in the park, there are always fun, family-friendly things going on in Dahlonega. All these fun and unique opportunities coupled with the beautiful landscape (Dahlonega, for those of you who haven’t had a chance to visit yet, is a town nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains) makes it a great destination for any time of year.   Surely at this point you are checking your calendar trying to figure out how soon you can get to Dahlonega, and you will probably need a place to stay. Don’t fret! We have you covered on that one. From Bed and Breakfasts, to Inns, Hostels, Airbnb’s and the more traditional hotel-style lodging, Dahlonega has a little bit of everything and each with its own charm. Bed and Breakfast If Bed and Breakfasts are your cup of tea, or if you have no “cup of tea” but would like one (served to you for free just feet from your bedroom) then Dahlonega has some great places to stay for you! Long Mountain Lodge Long Mountain Lodge is just off Camp Wahsega road just 7 miles from the downtown Dahlonega square. The lodge offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the breakfast “lighter than air” waffles can not be beat. The lodge offers guided nature... read more
Cameras Near Consolidated

Cameras Near Consolidated

This has been a big week for our sleepy little town! From the Make-a-Wish Reveal that took place on Tuesday during the softball games at the University of North Georgia to the hustle and bustle of filming on the square for a new pilot rumored to air on CBS. With so much going on in Dahlonega, we wanted to make sure you have the scoop! On Tuesday, March 29 the UNG softball team played a double-header against Georgia College, but the game was not the main event! The game was used as a Make-a-Wish Reveal for Emmalee Watkins who’s wish was to take a trip with her family to the Turks and Caicos! Both the softball and baseball games were broadcast on ESPN (very rare for a division 2 school) and were preceded by a tailgate with food trucks. Traffic on the square in Downtown has also been a little wonky lately due to the closing of various streets and parking lots. Why is everything shutting down? Oh, just a little television show filming is all. That’s right, Hollywood, move over because Dahlonega is where all the stars are at this week! Film crews have set up a set that could trick most of us into thinking that there is just another festival going on in the square to film the pilot for a show said to air on CBS. It is rumored that stars such as Retta (better known as Donna Meagle from Parks and Recreation) and Casey Wilson (former SNL cast member more recently known for her role as Penny Heart on Happy Endings). Some locals were... read more
5 Things to do in Dahlonega this Spring

5 Things to do in Dahlonega this Spring

I love Spring. I especially love Spring in Dahlonega. Spring’s triumphal entry is announced by the emergence of beautiful daffodils, or “March Flowers” as they’re called by many locals, in the fields and alongside the roads. Upon their arrival I begin to get the itch. I get the itch to leave my desk when it’s 70 degrees outside to go sit beside a creek and read a book. When it’s particularly clear, I get the urge to hike up to Preacher’s Rock to see all the way to Stone Mountain. On Sunny Fridays, I’ll skip lunch and head to the Pickin’ Porch at the Vickery House to hear some old time gospel pickin’ and singin’. I’ve picked 5 things to do in Dahlonega this Spring that I’m gonna cross off my list. You’d be wise to do the same! See the Daffodils at Gibbs Gardens OK, I know what you’re thinking. “This is supposed to be a list of things to do in Dahlonega.” Technically you’re right, but I couldn’t leave this one off the list. It’s only a short drive from Dahlonega and well worth it! We’re talking about the largest daffodil display in the nation with nearly 20,000,000 daffodils. Southern Living calls it, “The most stunning daffodil garden- ever!” North Georgia Zoo I was a little skeptical about this one. Small zoos notoriously get a bad wrap, and often for good reasons. However, I was thoroughly impressed by the facilities, and the animals seemed to be very well taken care of. My son of 18 months had the time of his life. Animals that he’d only seen in books... read more
Dahlonega “Rich” in History

Dahlonega “Rich” in History

Many of you know Dahlonega as being the site of the first US Gold Rush, but what other “nuggets” (see what we did there…) of history remain unknown? For starters, there’s the name itself, Dahlonega. Pronounced Duh-Lon-uh-guh, the name actually derives from the Cherokee word “Dalonige” which means “yellow” or “gold”. So it is no surprise that the town would be named for the gold that was found here. As a result of the gold rush, the United States built a branch mint right here in Dahlonega. The Dahlonega Mint was established in 1838 and only minted gold coins. The coins were minted in the denominations of $1.00, $2.50, and $5.00. The $2.50 coins were known as a “quarter eagle” and the $5.00 coins were known as a half-eagle. For a short time during the year of 1854, a $3.00 coin was also minted. With more than $6 million worth of gold coins minted, the branch was shut down in 1861 due to the Civil War. The gold rush in California was in its prime during this time and the branch mint built in San Francisco as a result was producing the national needs of mint production. Because of the mint in San Francisco, the Dahlonega branch was never reopened. The Consolidated Gold Mining Company was set up in response to a new wave of gold interest in the early nineteenth century. The largest gold-processing plant east of the Mississippi River, the Dahlonega Consolidated Gold Mining Company was a four-story mill with 120 stamps. Consolidated Gold Mine is still open today for tours and mining! Another little-known fact is... read more
8 Things to be Thankful for in Dahlonega

8 Things to be Thankful for in Dahlonega

With the holiday season upon us it is time to take a moment and reflect on some of the things that we are most thankful for. And when you are in a place like Dahlonega, that’s not hard to do at all. 1. Mountains There’s no denying that living in the mountains of north Georgia is unlike anything else. We are especially thankful for our mountains this time of the year as the leaves begin to change and color the hills in brilliant reds, oranges, yellows and even gold. 2. Friendly Faces Dahlonega is a town full of talented and kind people. Whether you’re eating at a restaurant on the square, attending a sporting event at the college or helping out a local charity, you are sure to be greeted by smiling faces and southern manners. 3. “Rich” History Being the site of the first U.S. Gold Rush means one-of-a-kind attractions and places like Consolidated Gold Mine that always offer a fun and educational experience for residents and visitors alike. 4. Partiotism As home to one of the senior military colleges in America, there is no shortage of patriotism in this small town. Retreat playing at 5 o’clock every afternoon, men and women in uniform marching in parades, and white crosses with the American flags that line the streets twice a year; there is no doubt that Dahlonega is proud to be American. 5. Music There is no shortage of musical talent in Dahlonega. With several music venues and live music every weekend, we are thankful for those who share their song with us and give us a reason to... read more

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