In a couple of earlier posts, I mentioned the Georgia Gold Rush and named a few of the better known gold mines. Three of the more well-known gold mines were the Loud Mine, the Consolidated Mine, and the Calhoun Mine. Today’s post will be more about the Calhoun Mine.
According to Wikipedia, the land the Calhoun Mine is located on 239 acres originally owned by Robert Ober. After a couple of intermediary sales, John C. Calhoun, South Carolina senator and the 7th Vice President of the United States, purchased the land. Below is John C.’s picture and he is an intense looking kind of guy!
Calhoun purchased the land for $6000 dollars (approximately $167,000 in today’s dollars). He began working the mine and it yielded much gold. Calhoun sent his son-in-law, Thomas Clemson, to run the mine. The deposit was rich and, according to an 1856 letter from Thomas Clemson to his brother-in-law, was still yielding significant quantities 30 year after the initial discovery. Part of the money used to found Clemson University came from the Calhoun Mine and specimens from the mine are on display in the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta.
The Calhoun Mine passed from the Calhoun family in 1879 and, in 1939, a vein was found by Graham Dugas – one of the more colorful characters in Dahlonega’s Gold Rush history. The vein played out and the Calhoun Mine ceased operations. It is now privately owned and listed on the National Register of Historical Places and became a National Historic Landmark in 1973.
I plan on taking a drive up to the area of the Calhoun Mine very soon and taking some pictures. If I can find out who owns the land now, I’ll see if they will let me go on the property and take a look around! It would be awesome to see where the gold came out of the ground!
In my books, The Gemstone Chronicles, Beebop owned land in the North Georgia Mountains. His land included an old mine and he prospected more for gemstones than gold, but who knows, maybe Beebop was on to something. Maybe there still is gold in those hills!! John C Calhoun certainly found some at the Calhoun Mine!
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