A little digging will uncover a treasure trove of Dahlonega rare books because of the deep vein of history associated with the area. Although books about valuable coins and gold mining predominate, anyone interested in early pioneers, Native Americans, the Civil War or geology will benefit.
Dahlonega is a small town in northeastern Georgia halfway between Atlanta and Knoxville, Tennessee situated in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In 1928, before the California Gold Rush, gold was discovered in the Dahlonega area that was once Cherokee Territory. Several years later, in 1837, the Dahlonega Branch Mint opened and began producing gold coins but closed at the start of the Civil War.
Georgia Gold Rush
The Digital Library of Georgia tells a great deal about the Southern Gold Rush. There are lengthy bibliographies listing Dahlonega books and manuscripts as well as biographies about historical figures from the area.
Other sections of this excellent online resource includes more regional history such as a photograph of Bill Miner, "The Gentleman Train Robber" with two of his accomplices who were captured in Dahlonega in 1911, and Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842.
Numismatic Dahlonega Rare Books
Because of the Dahlonega Branch Mint, many Dahlonega rare books are about coins. Coin collectors and dealers are interested in guidebooks about these collectible Dahlonega coins.
The Gold Rush Gallery, by two specialists in Dahlonega coins, includes pages on mint sets, error coins and an image gallery. There are also ideas about collecting and a coin convention schedule.
This website about Dahlonega gold coins also includes a numismatic glossary. A guidebook they recommend is:
- Winter, Douglas. Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint 1838 - 1861: A Numismatic History and Analysis. Irvine, CA: Zyrus Press, 2003. Second Edition.
Books about Dahlonega coins are also out of print. Their prices range from several dollars to hundreds of dollars. An example of a Dahlonega rare book about coins is:
- Birdsall, Clair M. The United States Branch Mint at Dahlonega, Georgia: Its History and Coinage. Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984.
The Dahlonega-Lumpin County website has interesting and useful information about the area. Visitors can tour the Crisson and Consolidated gold mines, mountain bike in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and tour local wineries. Apparently, the Dahlonega plateau is perfect for growing grapes.
The Dahlonega Courthouse Gold Museum is situated in the center of town. Although once a courthouse, it is now a museum that also shows a movie about area mining. On display are gold nuggets mined in the area as well as coins from the Dahlonega Branch Mint.
Authors from around the United States come to this annual festival to take part in literary events.