While Dahlonega gets the glory for Georgia’s first gold rush in 1828, the first gold was found near Villa Rica in 1826.
It was called Hixtown then and prospectors flocked there. At one time there were 19 gold mining operations around the town, but most of it was gold dust, making it more difficult to mine.
In 1832, the name of the town was changed to Villa Rica, which means rich village in tribute to the discovery of gold. You can learn more about the history at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum, which has artifacts, panning area, trails and train ride.
– Jan Schroder, The Georgia 100