Mention “gold rush” and most people think of California and the hundreds of thousands of prospectors who moved west beginning in 1849 in search of fortune. Twenty years earlier, it was Georgia that attracted those diggers and dreamers in droves. When gold was discovered in the north Georgia mountains in 1829, people flocked to what we know today as Dahlonega, digging in hillsides and panning river bottoms for a better life. When news of the California discovery made its way back to Georgia, a Dahlonega mint official pointed to the region’s most productive gold mines and asked: “Why go to California? In that ridge lies more gold than man ever dreamt of. There’s millions in it.” Despite their pleas, the miners packed up and headed west, because the only thing better than gold is more gold. Our founders George Blanchard and Francis Calhoun must have known a little something about its lure. When they auctioned off 60 lots along and around Highland Ave in 1923, they promised water, sewerage, gas, and GOLD, which caused a bit of a rush right here in Augusta. In addition to inviting prospective buyers to set their own prices for desirable real estate on “the highest point on the hill,” Blanchard and Calhoun gave away $200 in gold, more than $13,000 by today’s standards. While the identity of the lucky winner has been lost to history, anyone who bought a lot that day from Blanchard and Calhoun struck gold.