Georgia is Home to an Abandoned Town Most People Don’t Know About

Georgia is known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. But did you know that it also has a lost town that was once a thriving center of the gold rush? This town is called Auraria, and it is located on the southwest side of Dahlonega, near the junction of the Chestatee River and the Etowah River.

The Rise and Fall of Auraria

Auraria was founded in 1832 by William Dean, who built a cabin between the two rivers. He soon discovered gold in the area, and word spread quickly. Thousands of settlers came to Auraria, hoping to strike it rich. The town grew rapidly, and by 1833, it had over 100 houses, 20 stores, 15 law offices, a tavern, a hotel, and a newspaper.

Auraria became one of the first gold boom towns in Georgia, and the nation’s first rice mill was built there. The town also had several gold mines along the Etowah River, such as the Gold Hill Mine, the Hedwig-Chicago Mine, the Battle Branch Mine, and the Barlow Mine.

However, Auraria’s prosperity did not last long. In 1836, a 40-acre lot that the town was built on was won by a man named Samuel Lumpkin, who had questionable involvement in the town’s affairs. He decided to sell the lot to the state of Georgia, which then auctioned it off to the highest bidder. The bidder was none other than Lumpkin’s nephew, who planned to create a new town north of Auraria, called Dahlonega.

Many of the businesses and offices in Auraria relocated to Dahlonega, which became the new center of the gold rush. Auraria soon lost its population and importance, and by 1840, it had only 17 residents.

The final blow to Auraria came in 1849, when the California Gold Rush lured away many of the remaining miners and prospectors. Auraria was left abandoned, and nature reclaimed the land. Only a few structures still stand today, such as the old cemetery, the rice mill, and some foundations.

Why You Should Visit Auraria

Auraria may be a ghost town, but it is not forgotten. It is a fascinating place to visit for history buffs, nature lovers, and adventure seekers. You can explore the ruins of the town, learn about its past, and imagine what life was like during the gold rush. You can also enjoy the scenic views of the rivers, the forests, and the mountains. Auraria is a hidden gem in Georgia, and a reminder of the state’s golden heritage.


Georgia is home to an abandoned town most people don’t know about: Auraria. This town was once a bustling hub of the gold rush, but it was soon eclipsed by Dahlonega and deserted by its inhabitants. Today, Auraria is a ghost town, but it still has a lot to offer to visitors who want to discover its history and beauty. Auraria is a lost town, but it is not a lost cause. It is a place worth seeing, and a place worth saving.

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