Cheryl Anne Stapp
Gold Mining Tools - the Cradle
The first major gold rush in the United States occurred in northern Georgia, predating the California Gold Rush by nearly twenty years. A deer hunter accidentally kicked over an interesting rock near the Chestatee River, circa 1828. By June 1830, thousands of hopeful miners from all over had swarmed into the area. The county seat of Georgia’s gold region is Dahlonega, named for a Cherokee Indian word meaning “yellow.” When gold was discovered in California in 1848, many experienced Georgia miners sped west, where they introduced the cradle (also known as the rocker) as a gold-mining tool—which was much faster and more effective than the simple pan the inexperienced California miners were using.